BLACKSBURG, Va. – Virginia Tech scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to break a 3-3 tie and defeat Maryland in the series finale at English Field by a score of 6-4 Sunday afternoon.
The Terps (21-13, 7-10 ACC) led 3-1 entering the sixth, but the Hokies (17-17-1, 7-11 ACC) scored twice in the frame to tie the game and used the three-run seventh to earn the win.
The loss spoiled a superb defensive effort by the Terps. Starter Jake Drossner, who did not factor into the decision, and the defense stranded six Virginia Tech base runners in the first four innings including inning-ending double plays in the first and fourth innings. In all, the Terps turned a season-high four double plays.
Maryland turned the first of its four double plays in the bottom of the first. After Drossner retired the leadoff hitter, Virginia Tech pieced together consecutive singles and a walk to Brendon Hayden loaded the bases. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Drossner got Phil Sciretta to roll a ball to Jose Cuas to start the 5-4-3 double play and end the inning.
But the Hokies opened the scoring for the first time in the series with three hits in the bottom of the second. After Sean Keselica grounded out to start the frame, Kyle Wernicki doubled off the wall in left and advanced to third on a Ricky Surum ground out. Drossner’s next pitch was in the dirt and got past catcher Nick Cieri allowing Wernicki to come home.
Drossner then gave up singles to Ryan Tufts and Saige Jenco, but got Alex Perez to ground out to Brandon Lowe to strand the Hokie base runners at second and third.
The Terps got to Virginia Tech starter Brad Markey in the fourth scoring twice on three singles. Lowe and LaMonte Wade started the inning with back-to-back hits. With runners at the corners, Cieri singled through the left side of the infield to score Lowe for his fifth RBI of the season.
A passed ball moved Cieri into scoring position and allowed Wade to take third. Cuas then hit a ground ball to short allowing Wade to score to give the Terps a 2-1 lead.
The Hokies once again loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with two singles and a hit-by-pitch. But Drossner made a pitch when it counted with one out and got Jenco to hit a ground ball to Blake Schmit at short to start a 6-4-3 double play and end the VT threat.
The Terps added to their lead with one run in the fifth on singles from Tim Lewis and Wade. Lewis singled on a 1-0 pitch with one out in the frame and took second to register his first career stolen base as a Terp. After Lowe, walked on five pitches, Wade, who went 3-for-4, picked up his 13th RBI of the season with a base knock.
Tech tied the game in sixth on a RBI double from Surum and a RBI single by Ryan Tufts. In the seventh, the Hokies grabbed the lead for good after loading the bases on a hit-by-pitch and two RBI singles.
Maryland cut the deficit to two in the ninth on a throwing error allowing Andrew Amaro to score from second. But Tanner McIntyre retired the next batter to lock up his first save of the season.
Maryland next travels to Aberdeen to take on Towson in game one of the inaugural Ripken Cup Tuesday. First pitch from Ripken Stadium is set for 7 p.m.