Johnny Morales drove in two runs in the bottom of the seventh to give the Hokies the lead and Virginia Tech added three insurance runs in the eighth to post another 8-4 victory over Boston College at English Field on Saturday afternoon.
The second game of the ACC set saw the Hokies improve to 21-12 overall and 4-10 in the ACC and clinch the series, while Boston College drops to 13-18 overall and 4-10 in the conference.
The Eagles actually scored the first two runs of the game again – as they did on Friday night as well – but it took until the third frame, when Matt Pare crossed the plate on a wild pitch and John Hennessy scored on a Blake Butera grounder.
Tech starter Andrew Aizenstadt sat down the first seven batters of the game before Pare and Hennessey registered back-to-back singles. From then the Hokies continued to play catch-up until the seventh.
Morales drove in a run in the bottom of the third – on a sac fly scoring Mark Zagunis – but BC answered in the fourth with a RBI from Andrew Lawrence. The Hokies cut their deficit to a single run again in the home half of the fourth on an Alex Perez RBI single that scored Andrew Rash.
Tyler Horan, who had a career high four hits on the day, led off the fifth with a solo home run, the team’s 29 home run of the season, 20th solo shot and ninth to lead off an inning.
However, Boston College responded with an RBI double from Spencer Payne in the sixth, scoring Rob Moir and the Eagles were on top again, 4-3.
Aizenstadt retired another batter, but his day was ended after 5.2 innings, seven hits, four runs and four strikeouts. Jake Joyce came in and closed the game for Tech to earn the win, now 2-0, as he threw 3.1 innings of scoreless baseball with three strikeouts.
In the seventh, Morales came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs to face BC reliever Kyle Prohovich, who replaced starter Hunter Gordon. Morales smacked a single which scored two to put Tech on top 5-4.
With two outs in the eighth, the Hokies added three insurance runs with Zagunis drawing a walk, which was followed by a Horan RBI triple, a Morales RBI single – to give him a career-high four RBI in the game – and a Ronnie Shaban RBI double, the 61st of his career.
Shaban finished the day with three hits, while Morales, Perez and Rash each had two. Morales also had four RBI, Horan two and he also scored two times. Zagunis, whose hitting streak ended in the game, extended his reaching base streak to 25 straight after drawing a pair of walks and was also hit by a pitch – he scored all three times on base.
The two teams will complete the ACC series on Sunday with first pitch at English Field scheduled for 1 p.m.
Additional Notes: With the win, the overall series with Boston College is now tied at 14-14. The Hokies are now 11-3 when Johnny Morales has at least two hits (he has a team-high 14 games) and 6-2 when Tyler Horan hits a home run. Mark Zagunis’ reached base streak is the longest since Austin Wates reached base in 28 straight games in 2010. Ronnie Shaban’s career numbers now include 174 starts, 221 hits, 61 doubles, 164 RBI and 351 total bases. Tech has now stolen 46 bases this season, four shy of last year’s total. Today’s win was the Hokies 14th comeback win and the 10th when trailing as late as the fifth frame. Today’s victory also marked the 390 at English Field, 94th for Coach Hughes, but it was just the first win at home on national television – Tech was winless in six prior games.
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