Virginia Tech baseball (20–14) played the East Tennessee State Buccaneers (23–8) for the second time this season Wednesday and managed to earn a tough 4–2 victory on the road. The Hokies have now won three straight games, and are just a day removed from a 7–0 thrashing of Marshall at English Field.
While Tech’s first meeting with ETSU ended up being a 9–3 victory in the Hokies’ home opener that saw every starter get a run scored or an RBI, this one ended up being a much more low-scoring affair that came down to the wire.
Whereas the Hokies opened up their first meeting by scoring the first seven runs of the game, it was the Buccaneers who opened up the game this time courtesy of junior Jake Lyle, who scored after batter Cade Gilbert grounded out in the bottom of the first.
The Buccaneers’ 1–0 lead would remain up until the top of the third inning, when junior Kerry Carpenter singled through the right side, allowing Jack Owens to score and tie the game up 1–1. An inning later, Tech took the lead when freshman Nick Biddison was walked by pitcher Hooper Mills, which let Dalton Harum go to home plate and put the Hokies up 2–1; Mills was taken out for Zach Kirby immediately after due to the pitcher’s struggles in his lone inning on the mound.
ETSU wouldn’t go down without a fight, though, and ended up tying the game in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a single by Cullen Smith that allowed David Beam to score. The tie wouldn’t last much longer than an inning as Tech scored two runs in the seventh inning to put ETSU away for good.
The first score of the inning was off a triple by freshman catcher Carson Taylor that scored in Owens, his second run of the day and his 22nd of the season. The other score can be attributed to Carpenter again, as he flied out to center field and allowed Taylor to score just moments after his triple. The next two innings were uneventful all around thanks to some fine pitching by both sides that ultimately kept the score at 4–2 in Virginia Tech’s favor.
Tech will hope its three-game winning streak will provide enough momentum for its next three-game series against ACC-rival Duke at Jack Coombs Field, starting with the first game at 6 p.m. Friday, April 16. East Tennessee State will have a three-game away series of its own starting on Friday as it takes on Furman.