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Andrew Rash’s two-run triple in the eighth inning snaps a tie, giving Tech its third straight win.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
LEXINGTON — The VMI baseball team was hoping Tuesday to sweep a season series from Virginia Tech for the first time since John F. Kennedy was in the White House.
Andrew Rash made sure that did not happen.
Rash hit a two-run triple in the eighth inning to snap a tie and help the Hokies beat the Keydets 9-6 in a nonconference game at Gray-Minor Stadium.
The game was tied at 5 entering the eighth.
VMI beat Tech 8-0 on March 26 in Blacksburg. That game marked the first time the Keydets had beaten Tech since 2008 and the first time they had shut out Tech since 1962.
“You always have a little motivation when somebody comes into your house and puts an 8-spot up and shuts you out,” said Rash, who had two hits and four RBIs.
The Keydets (18-26) have not swept a season series from Tech since 1962.
“We really wanted to sweep them,” said Matt Winn, who had three hits and three RBIs for VMI. “The first game, … I think they took us a little lightly. But today I think they took us a little more seriously.”
Tech (25-17), which trailed 4-3 entering the sixth inning, will host fifth-ranked Virginia in a three-game ACC series this weekend.
“We wanted to win this game, play well, get us going on all cylinders going into this weekend, and I think we did that,” Rash said. “I love being down and having to come back. It shows the character of this team.”
Rash said he likes Tech’s chances this weekend.
“It’s going to be a tough test for us, but hopefully we can put up a fight and get out of there with two wins,” Rash said.
Tech has won three straight games.
“I really like the way we’re swinging the bats,” coach Pete Hughes said. “You’re going to need that with one of the better pitching staffs in the country coming into Blacksburg.”
The Hokies scored three times in the eighth to grab an 8-5 lead.
After Tyler Horan doubled off reliever Campbell Henkel (1-5), VMI brought in reliever Andrew Montague. Montague threw a wild pitch, moving Horan to third, and walked Mark Zagunis.
Rash hit a two-RBI triple down the left-field line to snap the tie. He scored on another Montague wild pitch.
It was the seventh straight loss for the Keydets, who are in last place in the Big South’s North division.
Zagunis belted a three-run homer in the top of the first. VMI’s Eric Mayers hit a two-RBI single in the bottom of the inning.
Winn hit a two-RBI double in the second to give VMI a 4-3 lead.
Rash hit a two-RBI double to give the Hokies a 5-4 lead in the sixth. But Winn hit an RBI double off Tech reliever Jake Joyce (Carlisle) to tie the score in the bottom of the inning.
The score was still tied at 5 when VMI’s Nick Dwyer tripled off Joyce with one out in the seventh. But Joyce (6-1) got out of the jam. Pinch hitter Red Dowdell struck out. After pinch hitter Rob Dickinson was intentionally walked, Cody Holder grounded into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Dickinson, who ranks third nationally in hits, did not start because of a shoulder injury.
Virginia Tech 300 002 031 — 9 11 3
VMI 220 001 001 — 6 9 1
Collazo, Hodges (2), Joyce (3), Hayden (8) and Morgan, Zagunis (8); Edens, Henkel (6), Montague (8), Garrett (9) and Winn. W— Joyce (6-1). L— Henkel (1-5). HR— VT: Zagunis (6).
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