Terps Downed in Blacksburg, 3-1

Maryland Athletics
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BLACKSBURG, Va. Maryland right-hander Jake Stinnett pitched a complete game striking out eight, but Virginia Tech starter Sean Keselica held Maryland to one run on five hits to push the Hokies past the Terps, 3-1, at English Field Friday night in game one of a three-game conference series.

Luck was not on Stinnett’s side Friday evening. The Hokies benefited from five infield singles, but Stinnett was able to work around the infield hits for most of the evening posting key strikeouts in every inning except the third. On the night, Stinnett allowed two earned runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts.

Keselica was equally impressive for Virginia Tech (16-16-1, 6-10 ACC) stranding 10 Maryland runners in 7-1/3 innings including leaving a Terrapin on third in four of the last five frames. The lefty gave up one run on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

The Terps (20-12, 6-9 ACC) manufactured the first run of the night in the fifth behind Kevin Martir and Michael Montville. Martir singled to center to start the inning and moved to second when Montville attempted to sacrifice him over but the ball rolled past first baseman Brendon Hayden resulting in a bunt single.

After Charlie White moved both runners into scoring position, Brandon Lowe nearly ended up with a RBI single but a diving grab by Hokies’ shortstop Ricky Surum in shallow left robbed Lowe of a hit. Martir tagged up on the play and Lowe settled for a sacrifice fly RBI to give Maryland a 1-0 lead.

The Hokies answered in the bottom of the inning and took the lead 2-1. After Stinnett retired the leadoff hitter, Miguel Ceballos reached on a softly hit infield single and ended up at third after Saige Jenco’s grounder squeaked through the left side.

With runners at the corners, Tech tied the game on a sacrifice fly from Alex Perez. Mark Zagunis then hit a ground-rule double down the left field line to put Hokies at second and third. Perez put Virginia Tech on top scoring on a passed ball.

In the bottom of the sixth, Stinnett issued a seven-pitch walk to Phil Sciretta to start the inning. Keselica followed and tripled Sciretta home with a hit to the gap in right center to give the Hokies a two-run cushion.

The Terps would force Keselica from the game in the eighth when Blake Schmit hit the pitcher with a line drive. Brad Markey came in from the bullpen and immediately gave up a single to Jose Cuas, but got Martir to ground out to strand Terrapin runners at second and third. Markey worked a perfect ninth to earn his first save of the season.

Game two of the weekend series between the Terps and Hokies is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday from English Field.