By Virginia Tech Sports Information Monday, April 30 2012 00:00
Behind a strong pitching performance by the Virginia Tech staff, the Hokies defeated Maryland, 6-2, on Sunday afternoon at English Field and claimed the ACC series win.
Joe Mantiply worked six innings and allowed just one unearned run and struck out five to improve to 5-4 on the mound, while Jake Joyce, Jake Atwell and Clark Labitan combined on the final three frames and surrendered a harmless run in the ninth.
With the victory, Tech improves its overall record to 30-16 and 10-14 in the ACC, while the Terrapins fall to 28-19 and 8-16 in the conference.
As they have in most games this season, the Hokies fell behind, as Maryland scored an unearned run in the second frame. However, they responded in the home half of the second with a pair of runs with Chad Pinder doubling home Andrew Rash and Alex Perez plating Ronnie Shaban with a sac fly.
Mantiply faced a second and third with two out in the top of the third but ended the threat with a strikeout. He then retired nine of the last 12 batters he faced with not another base runner touching third.
The Hokies added a single run in the bottom of the third on a Shaban RBI single that scored Johnny Morales.
Out of the pen, Joyce had first and second with one out in the seventh, but got a double play to end the frame and the Hokies padded their lead in the bottom of the inning.
RBI singles by Tyler Horan – scoring Kyle Wernicki – and Mark Zagunis – scoring Brendon Hayden – pushed the Tech lead to 5-1. They added another on a Perez sac bunt in the eighth that brought in Carson Helms (inserted as a pinch-runner) to make it a five-run lead.
Labitan allowed a leadoff home run in the ninth, but struck out the final Terrapin to give the Hokies the win. Maryland starter David Carroll dropped to 3-3 with the loss.
Horan, Shaban and Pinder all had two hits for the Hokies, while Perez was the only player with a pair of RBI.
Tech will take Monday off before hosting both NC A&T on Tuesday and VMI on Wednesday at English Field. Both games are set for a 5:30 p.m. start.
Additional Notes: Tech has gone 8-4 in its last 12 ACC games, tying the best mark over a four-week stretch in conference history, and 7-2 at home. With their 30th win in 46 games, the Hokies are now just the third team since 2000 to reach it before game 50 – 2003 (46 games) and 2010 (44). Chad Pinder’s second-inning double was his 22nd of the year, tying him for the fifth most in a single-season at Tech. The Hokies notched their 23rd comeback win of the year, and are 16-14 when their opponent scores first.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).
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