Virginia Tech rallies to down Chanticleers in extra innings

Virginia Tech scored one in the ninth and one in the 10th to complete a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over Coastal Carolina Tuesday evening at English Field.

The Hokies improve to 26-13 and he Chanticleers fall to 24-12.

In the 10th, Ronnie Shaban had a leadoff double and Chad Pinder followed with a bunt single, putting runners on the corners. Kyle Wernicki got a chopper up the middle past a drawn-in infield to deliver the game winner.

Aaron Burke, who entered the game as the NCAA leader in ERA, suffered the loss, falling to 4-3. He allowed nine hits and three runs (two earned) over 2.1 innings. Tanner McIntyre improved to 3-0 after working a perfect 10th.

In the top of the third, Coastal loaded the bases with no outs. Justin Creel had a leadoff double, Tripp Martin was hit by a pitch and Brian Pruett laid down a sacrifice bunt but reached on a throwing error. Jacob May singled through the left side to drive in Creel and keep the bases loaded. Alex Buccilli would hit into a double play, but Martin was able to score on the play for a 2-0 lead.

In the home half, Javier Reynoso gave up a leadoff walk, got a fly out and surrendered a single to put runners on the corners. Devin Bradley came out of the bullpen and kept the Hokies off the board by getting a pop out and ground out.

In the fifth, Pinder had a one-out double and scored when Brendon Hayden singled through the left side of the infield. Alex Perez followed with a single, putting runners on the corners. Ryan Connolly came on to get a foul out and a ground out to keep the score 2-1 in the Chants’ favor.

Coastal manufactured a run in the eighth. Daniel Bowman drew his second walk of the game. Two batters later, Coastal perfectly executed a hit-and-run. Bowman started for second base and Tucker Frawley hit a seeing-eye single through the hole. The ball was not hit very hard by Frawley, allowing Bowman to score all the way from first for 3-1 CCU lead.

The run proved key as Tyler Horan hit the first pitch of the home half over the center field wall, making the score 3-2. However, Virginia Tech tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth. Hayden had infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Gabe Ortiz followed with a bunt single. On the play, a throwing error allowed Hayden to score the tying run.

Coastal got the leadoff man on to start the 10th as pinch hitter Keith Picconi was hit by a pitch. Luke Willis came on to pinch run. He stole second but would be retired at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt.

This marks the second time Coastal has dropped an extra inning road game to an Atlantic Coast Conference school this season, falling 7-6 at fifth-ranked North Carolina on Mar. 28. The Chants also recently fell in 10 innings last Tuesday on the road to Colonial Athletic Association leader UNC Wilmington.

Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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