Tigers Fall to Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech won its first-ever ACC game at English Field by recording an 11-7 victory over Clemson in front of 1,025 fans Sunday afternoon. The game, which was the first ever meeting between the two as ACC members, was the first of a three-game series.

It was also the first matchup between the two since 1996 and the first at Virginia Tech since 1985. The Hokies improved to 20-21 (5-13 ACC), while the Tigers fell to 28-19 (13-9 ACC).

Hokie starter Greg Fryman (3-1) battled through early troubles to go 5.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits to record the victory. Tiger starter Stephen Faris (4-3) suffered the loss, as he allowed six runs (five earned) on five hits in 3.1 innings pitched.

Virginia Tech totaled 14 hits, including four doubles and a triple. Bryan Thomas led the way with three hits in four at-bats to go along with two RBIs. Billy Marn, Jose Cueto, Jose Rojas, and Nate Parks also added two hits apiece.

The bottom half of the Tiger batting order showed no rust from six days off for final exams. Travis Storrer, Andy D'Alessio, Stan Widmann, and Adrian Casanova, the 6-9 batters in the order, combined to go 9-for-15 with three homers, six runs scored, and all seven RBIs. D'Alessio went 3-for-4 with two homers, four RBIs, and two runs scored, while Storrer was 3-for-5 with a double, homer, three runs scored, and two RBIs. The bottom six spots in the order also combined to go 13-for-27, while the Tigers' 1-3 batters were 0-for-13. Herman Demmink's 11-game hitting streak came to an end as well, as he was 0-for-5. Both teams had 19 baserunners, but the Tigers left 11 on base to Virginia Tech's seven.

Storrer gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the second inning when he hit a solo homer to right-center, his fourth of the season. The long ball also extended his hitting streak to 11 games. After D'Alessio and Casanova reached on walks, Demmink hit a high pop-up to shallow right field with two outs. The ball popped out of second-baseman Matt Hacker's glove, but Cueto, the right-fielder, made a shoe-string catch to save at least one run.

In the third inning, Rojas lined a pitch off the left-center wall and made it to second. But he was ruled out when Clemson appealed that he missed first base. Parks followed with a two-out single through the left side and Chris Stanton walked, and both runners scored on Chris Hacker's double over the head of centerfielder Brad Chalk. Thomas then brought Hacker home on a double to left-center.

The Tigers came right back and took a 4-3 lead in the top of the fourth inning. Storrer led off with an opposite-field double and scored on D'Alessio's homer to right-center. Widmann followed with a double to left-center and scored on Casanova's single up the middle. Through four innings, Clemson's 1-5 batters were 0-for-11, while the 6-9 batters were 5-for-6 with every run scored and every RBI.

Virginia Tech did not waste much time retaking the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a five-run inning. Cueto led off with a double to left field that Tyler Colvin did not pick up off the bat, allowing the ball to fall safely near the fence. After Matt Foley was hit by a pitch and Warren Schaeffer moved the runners up on a sacrifice bunt, Rojas singled up the middle to score Cueto. Chalk booted the single in center, allowing Foley to score and Rojas to move up to second base. Parks then dumped a bloop single to left to advance Rojas to third. Stanton loaded the bases when he reached on a catcher's interference. Reliever David Kopp struck out Hacker for out #2, but walked Thomas on four pitches to bring home Rojas. Marn then bounced a single through the left side to score Parks and Stanton, giving the Hokies an 8-4 lead.

Clemson had two runners on base in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, but failed to plate any runs in those innings.

The Hokies added three insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Rojas led off with a single through the left side. Two batters later, pinch-runner Tom Blaszak scored on Stanton's triple to left field. Stanton then scored on a passed ball. Two batters later, Thomas singled and came around to score on another single by Cueto.

Clemson mounted a two-out rally, but it was too little, too late. Colvin singled and scored on Storrer's single to right field. D'Alessio followed with a towering two-run home run to right-center, his second of the game and 12th of the season.

Clemson and Virginia Tech will play game two of the series Monday at 7:00 PM.

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