After dropping the first game of the day to Temple 7-3, the Virginia Tech baseball team rebounded with a 7-5 win over Holy Cross.
“Win or lose, I didn’t like the way our team approached today,” said Pete Hughes, head coach. “I didn’t like our energy level; there was no sense of urgency. It felt like we just showed up to win two games. The teams we are playing against are good baseball teams, but you can’t show up and do that.”
The No. 24 Hokies entered the weekend at 4-0, coming off wins over Kent State and UNC Wilmington. The Hokies came out flat in game one, which could be partly blamed on the increased exposure.
“We came out a little flat,” said Brendon Hayden. “We just had big heads from last weekend and we thought we would just roll into the weekend, and in the game of baseball as you can see you can’t take anything for granted. “
Hughes disagreed and said the Hokies are not coached that way.
“That’s not the message I gave to these guys, no way,” Hughes said. “These guys are humbled every day they come to practice.”
Hayden was the winning pitcher in game two after moving from the designated hitter spot in the fifth inning. The sophomore logged three innings in relief, allowing no runs on just one hit.
“Brendon Hayden threw great shutout innings for us, which helped us win that game,” said Mark Zagunis. “That’s a big reason we won.”
The Hokies jumped out a 3-0 lead in game two on a Tyler Horan two-run home run. Holy Cross hit-around Tech starter Tanner McIntyre, as he lasted only four innings and allowed four runs.
“They just hit him around a little bit,” Zagunis said. “He got behind in the count, walked a couple people, but our bullpen really stepped up.”
Hayden entered the game in the fifth inning and settled the Hokies down. His performance lifted the Hokies to their first home win of the season.
“I thought Brendon Hayden was awesome,” Hughes said. “I thought he settled everybody down when he came into pitch. He had a big two-out double in the first game. He settled our team down when Tanner didn’t have very good stuff.”
Zagunis led off the fourth inning with a home run, which kept the momentum moving in the Hokies’ favor.
“I was leading off the inning, sitting fastball,” Zagunis said. “First pitch if I saw it anywhere near the plate and in a good place to hit it I was going to take a good swing on it. It was a great feeling.”
Horan also homered, his first of the season. Zagunis and Horan are hitting .458 and .360, respectively, to pace the Hokies.
Clark Labitan pitched in both games Saturday, locking down the save in game two, his second of the season.
Overall, Hughes did not feel like the Hokies played up to their potential.
“We have to make better offensive adjustments during the game, but the most important thing is we have to change the way we come to the ballpark every single day,” Hughes said. “I said, ‘You don’t look at the scoreboard, you don’t look at the other jersey, you just look at Virginia Tech and see how good we can get today.’ And we did not do that.”
The Hokies return to action Sunday at 6 p.m. for matchup with the Delaware Blue Hens.