Hokies rally past Chants in Baseball at the Beach classic

Coastal Carolina pitcher Josh Conway was impressive, striking out 10 with no walks over seven complete innings, but Virginia Tech was able to use three extra-base hits over two innings to help claim a 3-1 victory Saturday afternoon at the 13th Annual Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach.

After Conway struck out five Hokies through four innings, Virginia Tech (4-1) opened the fifth with Andre Rash and Tyler Horan getting back-to-back doubles to take a 1-0 lead. Conway would limit the damage, getting a fly out and a pair of strike outs.

In the sixth, Jake Atwell hit a leadoff triple for the Hokies and scored one batter later on an Alex Perez sacrifice fly. In the home half of the sixth, Coastal loaded the bases with one out thanks to a Rich Witten single and walks to Sloan Gilliam and Daniel Bowman. Dial plated Witten with an RBI ground out to cut the CCU deficit in half, 2-1. Coastal re-loaded the bases after Tucker Frawley, who was 3-for-4, was hit by a pitch, chasing Virginia Tech starter Joe Mantiply. Tech relief pitcher Jake Joyce came on to record a strike out to get out of the inning.

Virginia Tech took advantage of a Coastal error to go up 3-1 in the top of the ninth. Ronnie Shaban had a leadoff single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a ground out. Ryan Connolly came out of the CCU bullpen and got Johnny Morales to ground out, but a throwing error kept the inning alive as well as allowing Shaban to score.

The Chants got their leadoff hitters on base to start the eighth and ninth innings, but would not be able to take advantage. In the ninth, Frawley singled and Keith Picconi lined a ball to right right, which was caught by Atwell. Pinch hitter Tripp Martin then ripped a 2-1 fastball down the third base line. Chand Pinter made a great diving play and was able to throw out Frawley at second. Shaban earned his first save of the season by getting a strike out to end the game.

Mantiply (1-0) was credited with the win, allowing five hits and one run with three walks and five Ks over 5.2 innings. Jake Joyce, Atwell, Clark Labitan and Shaban combined to allow two hits and one walk over the final 3.1 innings.

Conway (0-1) was the hard-luck loser. The junior allowed six hits and two runs  while his 10 punch-outs was the second-most in a game for his career. He fanned 12 College of Charleston batters in 5.2 innings last season.

Coastal Carolina will wrap up the Caravelle Resort Baseball at the Beach Sunday, hosting North Carolina State at BB&T Coastal Field. First pitch is set for 3 pm, following the West Virginia/George Mason game Sunday morning. Iowa and Virginia Tech will play Sunday at 10 am on CCU’s campus.

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