The Virginia Tech baseball team traveled to Durham, North Carolina, to take on the Duke Blue Devils in an ACC clash at Jack Coombs Field. The Hokies took a three-game winning streak into the weekend series, but lost two out of three games to the Blue Devils.
Tech and Duke squared off in game one on Friday for the first of a three-game road series. This game proved to be a tough one for Virginia Tech as it struggled offensively, losing the game 4–0.
Sophomore pitcher Ian Seymour started the game for the Hokies and allowed one run and struck out six batters over 3 1/3 innings. The Blue Devils scored their first run in the second inning and then added another run in each of the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. Despite two hits each from Nick Biddison and Kevin Madden, the Hokies failed to put any runs on the board.
Game two of the series showcased much more success for Virginia Tech, yielding a 6–2 victory for the Hokies. Nic Enright took the mound for Virginia Tech and pitched five and two thirds solid innings, striking out eight batters while only allowing two runs.
Virginia Tech started its offense early with Jack Owens scoring off of a sacrifice fly from Kerry Carpenter in the top of the first. Later on in the fourth inning, designated hitter Dalton Harum homered to left field, scoring Madden and giving Virginia Tech a 3–0 lead. In the fifth, the Hokies added another run when Carson Taylor drove in Tanner Thomas with a double to left.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Blue Devils scored two runs with a double followed by a triple. At this point, Virginia Tech pitcher Jaison Heard came in to relieve Enright and finish the inning. In the top of the sixth, the Hokies posted two more runs, both coming off of infield singles. Heard proceeded to shut the Blue Devils down for the remaining 3 1/3 innings, allowing no hits or walks and earning the save. The final score was 6–2 in favor of the Hokies.
The Hokies played the final game of the series on Sunday, which resulted in a hard fought defeat for Tech. The Hokies started out on fire, scoring three runs in the first inning. Carpenter singled to right, sending Owens home; on the next at-bat, Thomas singled to score Carpenter and advance Madden to third. On the following play, Madden stole home to put the Hokies up 3–0.
Duke answered back in the next two innings and scored five unanswered runs, putting the Blue Devils up by two. Madden answered back for Virginia Tech, scoring in the third inning with a double to right center that brought home Carpenter. Thomas then singled, scoring Madden and tying the game at five runs. Virginia Tech failed to score for the rest of the game, and the Hokies could not slow down Duke as the Blue Devils scored four more runs. The final score was 9–5 and it resulted in Virginia Tech losing the series 2–1.
Despite the series loss, the Hokies received solid play from multiple players, especially Madden and Owens. In the three games, Madden batted 6–13 (.462) and scored four runs. Owens hit 4–13 (.308).
Looking ahead, Virginia Tech (21–16) will stay on the road for a game against High Point (14–18) Tuesday.