Virginia Tech snaps No. 5 Virginia's seven-game win streak in 5-3 victory
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- No. 5 Virginia had its seven-game win streak snapped Saturday afternoon with a 5-3 loss to Virginia Tech in the first game of a doubleheader at English Field. The series is now tied at a game apiece.
Virginia (38-7, 17-6 ACC) is playing its fifth doubleheader of the season; the Cavaliers swept the first four, including doubleheaders against current top-10 foes NC State and Florida State. Virginia Tech improved to 26-18 (10-13 ACC).
Kenny Towns homered as part of a 3-for-4 day for UVa. He had half of Virginia’s hits.
Scott Silverstein was handed his first loss of the year and fell to 7-1 after allowing five runs (four earned), 10 hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out a pair. Josh Sborz worked 2 2/3 perfect innings to keep the game close.
Joe Mantiply (4-0) earned the win for the Hokies after scattering three runs, six hits and three walks over seven innings. Clark Labitan pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to notch his sixth save.
Virginia Tech broke out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Alex Perez and Sean Keselica hit consecutive singles to start the inning and one out later Mark Zagunis walked to load the bases. Tyler Horan hit a sacrifice fly to score Perez, and Andrew Rash grounded a single into right field to bring Keselica home.
UVa knotted the score in the second inning. Derek Fisher led off with his sixth home run of the year into the bullpen in right field. Joe McCarthy and Towns hit back-to-back singles and were sacrificed up a base each by Reed Gragnani. Nate Irving then grounded out to score McCarthy.
Virginia Tech took advantage of a UVa error to score a third-inning run. Keselica reached to lead off the inning on a Gragnani fielding error. He advanced on a Chad Pinder single and then went to third when Zagunis grounded into a fielder’s choice for the first out. Horan then grounded into another fielder’s choice, with Keselica scoring on the play.
Virginia tied the game 3-3 in the sixth when Towns launched a solo home run to left field, his fifth long ball of the year.
The Hokies came right back with a pair of runs in their half of the sixth. Rash and Brendon Hayden started the inning with singles. Kyle Wernicki sacrificed the runners up a base apiece, and Chad Morgan and Perez followed with RBI singles to give Virginia Tech a 5-3 edge. Silverstein loaded the bases by hitting Keselica with a pitch. Sborz entered and got Pinder to fly out to right field, and Papi fired perfectly to Irving at the plate, who absorbed a collision from Morgan and held onto the ball to get the third out.
UVa’s best threat to tie came in the eighth when Hayden took the mound and issued one-out walks to Fisher and McCarthy, but Labitan entered the game and induced a 6-4-3 double-play ball from Towns to end the inning.