BLACKSBURG, Va. – Spotting the visitors three runs during Sunday’s first inning, the Virginia Tech baseball team missed its chance at sweeping its weekend series against No. 21 NC State as the Hokies were defeated, 10-3, at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park.
Third-year catcher Cade Hunter accounted for two of Tech’s six hits that tied for the Hokies’ lowest production of the season. Hunter led off the seventh inning with his team leading, 11th home run of the year, providing a momentary spark in offense despite the Wolfpack controlling the 7-2 lead.
Virginia Tech (20-8, 7-6 ACC) struggled putting away NC State (19-11, 7-7 ACC) during the top of the first inning. Devonte Brown homered two pitches into Henry Weycker’s first career start to put the Wolfpack ahead while Tommy White and Dominic Pilolli soon added singles – Pilolli’s scoring LuJames Groover III to extend the lead to 2-0.
Tech entered its bullpen twice during the opening frame to bring in Ryan Okuda and Graham Firoved, the latter of whom struck out Jacob Cozart to strand the bases loaded with NC State leading, 3-0.
Conor Hartigan singled during the third inning, marking the first of two hits the Hokies earned against left-hand starter Canaan Silver. Improving his pitching record to 4-0, Silver held Tech to a run across six innings of work while bagging five strikeouts.
Nick Biddison connected on the RBI single that plated the Hokies’ first run during the bottom of the fifth inning and chipped the Wolfpack lead down to 5-1. However, NC State extended its lead to 7-1 during the top of the sixth inning, receiving a solo home run from Cozart off Kiernen Higgins before Pilolli singled in a run against Jordan Geber.
Tommy White and Tanner Schobel traded solo home runs during the eighth inning before NC State closed the scoring with its two-run ninth inning. Chris Villaman threw the final three innings for the Wolfpack, earning his seventh save of the season.