BLACKSBURG, Va. – Chad Pinder hit a two-run triple with two outs in the eighth inning to lift the Virginia Tech baseball team, ranked #22 in this week’s Baseball America Poll, to a 7-6 victory over Marist on Saturday night.
Marist totaled 16 hits against its Atlantic Coast Conference opponent. Senior shortstop Zach Shank (Lititz, Pa.), junior third baseman Nick McQuail (Wantagh, N.Y.) and freshman second baseman Joey Aiola (Suffern, N.Y.) each had three hits. McQuail scored three runs, while Shank had two. Senior first baseman Mike Orefice (Wappingers Falls, N.Y.) and junior right fielder Jake Berry (South Hamilton, Mass.) had two hits apiece.
Senior right-hander Brett Houseal (Landisville, Pa.) started and went the first 4.1 innings. Junior right-hander Kevin McCarthy (Malverne, N.Y.), who went the final 3.2, took the loss and is now 4-3. McCarthy struck out five in his outing.
Virginia Tech was led offensively by left fielder Tyler Horan, who went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Horan homered in his first two at-bats as the Hokies jumped out to a 4-1 lead after three innings.
An RBI single by Aiola cut Marist’s deficit to 4-2 in the fourth. The Red Foxes then took the lead with three in the fifth. Sophomore left fielder Steve Laurino (Carle Place, N.Y.) brought home one run with a squeeze bunt, and junior catcher Zachary Passerelle (Sparta, N.J.) brought in another with an RBI single. The fifth-inning rally, in which Marist batted around and had six hits, was also aided by three Virginia Tech errors.
Horan’s RBI double in the bottom of the fifth tied the score at five apiece, but Marist took the lead again in the sixth on an RBI single by Laurino. The score remained 6-5 in favor of the Red Foxes until Pinder’s eighth-inning triple.
Devin Burke (9-3) earned the win for the Hokies with four innings of relief. Clark Labitan pitched a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.
Marist (25-20-1) and Virginia Tech (32-19) will wrap up their two-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Sophomore left-hander Rich Vrana (Lindenhurst, N.Y.) is Marist’s scheduled starter. Vrana will be opposed by right-hander Brad Markey.