Virginia Tech played a little over four hours of baseball on Saturday, but fell to NC State 10-9 in 10 innings. The Hokies held a 9-8 lead heading into the ninth inning, but couldn’t hold on. They will now await their NCAA Regional fate.
For the second day in a row, fielding was a big issue for Virginia Tech. The Hokies made five errors in the game and surrendered four unearned runs. Jesse Hahn started the game, and he hasn’t been as effective since he returned from his shoulder injury. He pitched four innings, allowing seven runs, only four of which were earned.
Closer Ben Rowen pitched the final two innings for the Hokies. He allowed two runs, and the game tying run in the ninth inning scored as an unearned run. Tech made four errors and allowed three unearned runs on Friday against Clemson, but were still able to pick up the 9-8 victory.
Tech’s top hitter was left fielder Andrew Rash, who went 3-for-5 with a home run and a double. He had a three-run homer in the fourth inning, and later singled in a run. It was Rash’s second consecutive game with a monster home run, both of which were hit all the way out of the stadium.
Catcher Steve Domecus went 2-for-6 with a two-run homer. Both Rash and Domecus homered in the fourth inning. The Hokies went into the fourth trailing 7-1, but by the end of the inning they were up 8-7.
Things looked good at that point, but NC State called upon Jake Buchanan, a regular starter. Buchanan pitched six innings and allowed six hits. He gave up just one run, which was unearned. It was a terrific performance from Buchanan, and he was the hero of the game for the Wolfpack.
The Hokies are now 38-20 on the year, and they are a lock to get an NCAA regional invite. They’ll now have to wait it out to see where and who they have to play in the opening weekend. They’ll find out on Monday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. on the tournament selection show on ESPN.