NC State ST
18-11, 6-7 ACC
Virginia Tech VT
20-7, 7-5 ACC
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W: Drue Hackenberg (6-0) L: Matt Willadsen (1-3)
BLACKSBURG – Receiving seven shutdown innings from freshman right-hander Drue Hackenberg on Saturday afternoon, the Virginia Tech baseball team breezed by No. 21 NC State, 8-2, at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park to secure its first all-time series victory against the Wolfpack.
Virginia Tech (20-7, 7-5 ACC) celebrated its 10th win during its last 11 games – a stretch that includes a 7-1 record against the ACC and a 5-1 mark against D1Baseball‘s top 25. With Saturday’s win, the 2022 Hokies became the program’s fastest team to earn 20 victories since Tech joined the ACC in 2005.
Carson DeMartini energized the Hokies during the bottom of the third inning, stealing home through the snowflakes to shoot Tech out to the 1-0 lead. With the bases loaded and visibility fading in the Blacksburg flurries, DeMartini took advantage of catcher Jacob Cozart’s arcing return of the ball to pitcher Matt Willadsen, sliding under the tag to put the Hokies on top.
After light snowfall had paused the game for 33 minutes between the third and fourth innings, Hackenberg returned to the mound to retire NC State (18-11, 6-7 ACC) on six pitches. The Tech rookie went on to set a season high in strikeouts (eight) during his seven-inning start, allowing two runs on six hits while surrendering one free base via a hit batsman.
Tanner Schobel cushioned the Hokies’ lead to 3-0 during the fifth inning, launching a two-run home run over the left field wall. After Jack Hurley had reached on an infield single to extend his hitting streak to 26 consecutive games, Eduardo Malinowski tripled him in to deep center, rushing Tech out to the 4-0 advantage.
Dominic Pilolli matched Malinowski’s RBI triple during the sixth inning, trimming a run off the Hokies’ lead. Despite J.T. Jarrett homering off Hackenberg during the seventh inning to inch the Wolfpack within the 4-2 score line, Schobel replied with his second home run of the day – another two-run blast that padded Tech’s lead to 6-2.
Jonah Hurney closed the door on NC State, striking out four of the six batters he faced across the eighth and ninth innings. Tech added two late runs to officially put the game out of reach, plating them after loading the bases during the eighth inning.
Virginia Tech will play for the home sweep of No. 21 NC State on Sunday, April 10. First pitch at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park is scheduled for 1 p.m.