Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
The Virginia Tech starter held on to beat UVa in Game 1, then the Hokies cruised in the nightcap to win the series.
Dave Knachel | Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech catcher Chad Morgan and coach Pete Hughes shake hands in Game 2 of a doubleheader with Vigirginia on Saturday.
Dave Knachel | Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech catcher Chad Morgan (33) collides with Virginia’s catcher on Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader. Morgan had the go-ahead RBI in the Hokies’ 5-3 win in Game 1.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
BLACKSBURG — It was getting to be the late innings, Joe Mantiply’s pitch count was continuing to mount and still there was no activity in the Virginia Tech bullpen.
With its season possibly on the line, Tech stuck with its ace in the first game of a double-header and he didn’t let the Hokies down.
Mantiply, who had thrown 118 pitches through six innings, worked a 1-2-3 seventh and the Hokies never looked back in a 5-3 victory over No. 5 Virginia.
That momentum carried into the second game at English Field as Tech scored 10 runs in the first four innings and coasted to an 11-6 victory.
Mantiply, a senior left-hander from Tunstall High School, didn’t last past the third inning in a 2011 pitching duel with first-round draft choice Danny Hultzen on the Cavaliers’ last visit to Blacksburg, but Saturday was a different story.
“I think it’s great for college baseball that he’s back here for his senior year,” UVa coach Brian O’Connor said of Mantiply, a 28th-round selection of the Phillies who elected not to turn pro. “I thought he was really good. He did a nice job of changing his speeds and hitting his locations and pitched a great ballgame.”
Virginia entered play Saturday with 19 victories in 23 games against Virginia Tech since O’Connor’s arrival as coach in 2004, including a 15-6 victory Friday night, when the Cavaliers pounded out 15 hits in the first game of the three-game series.
“Coach told us, ‘Don’t let Friday beat you twice,’ ” Mantiply said, “so everybody’s mentality was, ‘It’s a new day.’ ”
The original schedule called for single games Saturday and today, but the high probability of rain today resulted in a Saturday double-header.
The second game was over in a hurry as the Hokies chased Virginia starter Nick Howard before the end of the third inning.
Virginia (38-8, 17-7) never led in the first game, although it was a 3-3 game as late as the sixth inning, following a solo home run by the Cavaliers’ Kenny Towns.
Tech (27-18, 11-13) answered with a pair of runs off UVa starter Scott Silverstein, the go-ahead score coming on a single by catcher and No. 9 hitter Chad Morgan.
Silverstein, who had given up two hits and one hit in consecutive seven-inning outings, dropped to 7-1 for the season.
Mantiply improved his record to 4-0, with each of the decisions in ACC play. His pitch count of 135 was just under his career high of 137 against Georgia Tech in 2011.
“I felt fine,” Mantiply said. “If you had asked me how many pitches I’d thrown, I would have said 100. It’s getting down to the end of the season and I’m putting everything on the line. I’m not holding anything back because of pitch count.”
Tech coach Pete Hughes said he wanted Mantiply, a lefty, to face lefties Brandon Cogswell and Mike Papi at the top of UVa’s order.
“That’s  as high as I would go,” Hughes said. “He would’ve never been sent back out there if those two lefties weren’t coming up. Joe always tells me he feels good, so I learned a long time ago not to listen to Joe.
“It’s reassuring when you’ve got a guy like Mantiply pitching Game 2 for you because he’s either going to win a [three-game] series for you or get you back in a series. That’s why we love him in that spot.”
Devin Burke (7-3) was just as effective for Tech in the nightcap but had more of a cushion. UVa had early leads of 1-0 and 2-1 but it was all Tech starting with a five-run third.
“I’ve said it all year long, that they’ve got the best team and certainly the best offensive club they’ve had in my 10 years at Virginia and you’ve got to give them credit,” O’Connor said.
Whenever O’Connor and Hughes get together, it’s a mutual admiration society.
“You don’t have many opportunities to beat a team that’s well-coached like they are — and as accomplished as they are — twice in one day,” Hughes said. “I’ve never coached a team that had such a good day against such a good opponent.”
Weather JournalNext system: Possible ice/snow Sat.