The Virginia Tech baseball team’s bats fell silent over the weekend as the Hokies were swept in three games at Miami.
The Hokies managed just three runs for the entire series against the Hurricanes. Meanwhile, Miami tallied 16 runs on 24 hits.
In the series opener, Miami loaded the bases in four of the first five innings but managed only two runs. The Hurricanes tacked on a third run in the eighth inning on a Stephen Perez double off of Tech pitcher Brandon Fisher.
Ronnie Shaban’s two-out RBI double in the ninth made it 3-1 and brought the potential game-tying run to the plate, but Gabe Ortiz grounded out to end the game.
On Saturday, the Hokies lost another tight battle. Trailing 2-1 in the ninth, the Hokies had two runners on base with two outs and Chad Pinder at the plate. Miami brought in its closer, Sam Robinson, who forced Pinder to fly out to right field and end the Hokies’ rally.
Tech’s struggle to find a reliable pitching option for the series finales continued when Miami tagged the Hokies for 11 runs on Sunday. Joe Parsons earned his first weekend start but lasted just three and a third innings, giving up three runs and walking three batters.
Miami slugger Harold Martinez was 2-for-2 with four RBI on Sunday.
By the numbers, the Hurricanes were the best team the Hokies have faced all season. However, Tech entered the weekend averaging 9.1 runs per game, so the offensive ineptitude came as a surprise.
Senior second baseman Michael Seaborn put together the best weekend of any Hokie at the plate. Seaborn went 5-of-11 and scored two of Tech’s three runs in the series.
Sophomore left fielder Andrew Rash continued his breakout season with another home run on Saturday, his seventh of the season. He hit just six home runs all of last season in spot duty.
Encouraging for Tech was the defensive effort Friday behind ace pitcher Joe Mantiply.
Mantiply lasted five innings, and despite walking four batters and allowing seven hits, the Hokies only allowed two Miami runs.
The slow start in conference play is nothing new to coach Pete Hughes. Tech started 1-5 in the ACC last season before recovering to win the most games in his five years as head coach.
Tech faces a two-game miniseries starting today against Hartford at home. The Hokies will then stay in town this weekend to face North Carolina in an important Coastal Division battle.