The Virginia Tech baseball team used four home runs in an 16-run outburst to defeat the Liberty Flames 16-6.
The Hokies (17-5, 4-2) are coming off a weekend sweep of the Duke Blue Devils.
“It’s all about how many wins in the ACC, no matter who it comes against,” said head coach Pete Hughes. “I love that because it was on the road. I honestly think you have to be tough to play on the road and win games in this league.”
Tech starting pitcher Sean Keselica danced through six innings to pick up the victory. Keselica is now 2-0 on the season and lowered his ERA to 4.42.
Kyle Wernicki got the scoring started in the top of the first inning, driving home Alex Perez on a two-run blast to left field. Following Chad Pinder and Tyler Horan doubles, Mark Zagunis tripled to make the score 4-0 before the Flames could record an out.
The scoring would be all Keselica needed, as the Hokies tacked on seven runs in the fourth inning and three in the fifth to open up a sizeable lead.
“It’s great, it’s definitely a confidence builder,” Pinder said. “With the wind out there, howling, but you still have to hit the ball and you still have to put the ball in play and put good swings on it.”
Wernicki, Zagunis, Andrew Rash and Keselica each homered for the Hokies in the winning effort. The wind certainly helped the Hokies in that regard, and they were better prepared to field the ball in the conditions.
“It’s a huge advantage,” Rash said. “We take fly balls in (the wind). You can win and lose ballgames with the wind because of situations like that.”
Pinder doesn’t think the Hokies are playing at 100 percent yet.
“We’re getting the job done when we need to get it done, but I don’t think we’re clicking on all cylinders yet,” Pinder said. “It’s going to be really, really fun when we do.”
Hughes and the Hokies now face another test at Miami, a location they have not had success at in recent history.
“I like our team, I like our team,” Hughes said. “Especially with a healthy (Joe Mantiply). We’ve got to play better at that place, it’s a hard place to play. They’re comfortable at their home field, and we’ve got to get over another obstacle, and playing at Miami has been an obstacle.”
The Hokies are back in action on Friday when they travel to Coral Gables, Fla. to face the Miami Hurricanes. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.