With the use of six pitchers, Virginia Tech registered its second shutout of the season, blanking the visiting NC A&T Aggies, 6-0, on Tuesday night at English Field for the team’s 16th straight non-conference victory.
Brendon Hayden got the start on the mound for the Hokies, his first collegiate start, and worked four innings, allowed just one hit, issued one walk and struck out three batters. He faced the minimum in his time on the hill as the Hokies turned two double plays behind him.
He was also given a four-run lead after the first frame, which was the most runs the Hokies have scored this season in the first.
In the inning, Alex Perez scored on a Mark Zagunis double. Andrew Rash brought in Zagunis with a single and Rash scored on Tyler Horan’s two-run home run. In the frame, both Zagunis and Rash notched their 30th RBI of the year, while Horan’s blast was his team-leading 12th of the season and gave him a team-high 37 RBI.
NC A&T (13-31) threatened only in the fifth frame, as they were able to load the bases with one out on a single, a walk and an error. Manny Martir, who relieved Ricky Hodges, ended the threat with a pair of strikeouts.
The Aggies had just three base runners the rest of the way – getting a single off of Eddie Campbell in the seventh, erased on a double play; a walk issued by Tanner McIntyre in the eight; and a hit surrendered by Jake Joyce in the ninth – and none of them touched second base.
Tech (31-16) was able to plate a pair in the eighth on a Sean Keselica double, which scored Horan and Chad Pinder.
Hayden picked up the win and is now 1-0 for the Hokies, while NC A&T starter Ruben Torrellas, who went seven frames and settled in after the rocky first start, dropped to 1-4 on the season.
The team returns to the field Wednesday to face VMI at English Field with first pitch scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).