The Virginia Tech baseball team ended Saturday with a pair of losses to the No. 13 NC State Wolfpack, 4-2 in 11 innings – the suspended game from Friday finished today – and 6-2, in ACC action at English Field.
The losses dropped the Hokies’ record to 32-18 on the season, 10-16 in conference while the Wolfpack improved to 36-12 and 18-8 in the ACC.
On Friday, in the game that was suspended due to lighting issues and continued on Saturday, NC State and Virginia Tech battled into extra frames.
The Wolfpack plated a single run in the first and second to jump out to an early 2-0 lead. Trea Turner scored in the first after singling, stealing second and coming home on a Chris Diaz RBI single. In the second, Andrew Ciencin tripled to lead off the frame and came home on an RBI single by Jake Fincher.
Tech’s starter Andrew Aizenstadt settled in after the two early runs to throw six innings and struck out a season-high nine batters, which kept the Wolfpack off the scoreboard and helped the Hokies tie the contest.
NC State starter Carlos Rodon, who went 7.1 innings with 11 strikeouts, was a bit wild as he also issued four walks and hit three batters.
In the third, Alex Perez drew a walk and scored on Mark Zagunis’ second double of the game, and in the fifth, back-to-back singles by Tyler Horan and Brendon Hayden plated the tying run. With two out, Horan singled and was moving on the pitch to Hayden, who singled to center. Horan was advancing to third when Fincher’s throw bounced into the Tech dugout and Horan was awarded home.
The game was then in the hands of the bullpens, Ryan Mathews hit a two-run home run in the top of the 11th to put NC State on top and Chris Overman picked up his sixth save of the year with a scoreless ninth.
Clark Labitan suffered just his second loss of the year and is now 6-2, while D.J. Thomas picked up the win in relief and is 2-1.
In the scheduled Saturday game, Turner put NC State up 1-0 with an RBI single in the third, but the Hokies responded with a pair of the bat of Zagunis. With the bases loaded, he singled to center, plating two – Sean Keselica and Chad Pinder – and Tech took its first lead of the series.
The Wolfpack evened the game at 2-2 with a Diaz RBI, which scored Logan Ratledge with his second run of the game.
However, Mathews did it again, breaking the 2-2 tie with another two-run home run, this time in the seventh frame. Two unearned runs in the ninth provided the difference in the contest.
Travis Orwig improved to 1-1 with the win out of the bullpen, while Joe Mantiply suffered the loss and is now 5-5.
The two teams will finish the series on Sunday with first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tech will honor its seniors throughout the game.
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