The Virginia Tech baseball team traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, Tuesday to face off against the Old Dominion Monarchs in the Commonwealth Classic. The Hokies lost 3–2 to the Monarchs in a tightly contested matchup of in-state opponents.
The Hokies scored early and took the first lead of the game in the second inning as third baseman Kevin Madden scored off of shortstop August Haymaker’s RBI groundout.
Tech would only hold on to the 1–0 lead until the third inning, when Old Dominion’s Vinnie Pasquantino hit an RBI single and Matt Burch later scored on a throwing error. The Monarchs took a 2–1 lead and never trailed again in the game.
Both teams used a committee of pitchers throughout the game, with neither starter pitching enough innings to gain a win. Tech’s starting pitcher, Peyton Alford, pitched the first scoreless inning while ODU’s Jason Hartline gave up one run over the first 2 2/3 innings.
The Hokies managed to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning as Nick Biddison’s sacrifice bunt scored Dalton Harum. Tech tied the game at 2–2 but would not score throughout the rest of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Pasquantino was back in the scoring column with a solo homerun to right field. The deep ball put the Monarchs up 3–2 with four innings remaining in the game.
With the Hokies down to their final out in the top of the ninth inning, Jonah Seagears and Harum reached first and second base with an error and a walk. On the following at-bat, Michael Fernandez grounded out to end the game.
Left-handed reliever Trey Fisher closed out the game for the Monarchs in the bottom of the ninth and secured the victory for ODU. Fisher struck out two Tech batters in the final inning and was credited with the save.
Sophomore pitcher Ryan Metz was assigned the loss for giving up the pivotal run to the Monarchs in the fifth inning. Michael Blanchard pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings and was awarded the win.
Tech’s second baseman Jack Owens had an excellent night at the plate, going three for four. Pitcher Jaison Heard pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief and struck out three batters.
The loss in the Commonwealth Classic is the fourth straight for the Hokies, dropping Tech’s record to 24–22 for the season. The Monarchs improve to 27–17 and have won three out of the last four games.
The Hokies return to Blacksburg this coming Saturday for a three-game series against the Boston College Eagles. The remaining seven games of Tech’s season will all be played at English Field in Blacksburg.