Playing in their first NCAA Regional since 2000, Virginia Tech was defeated by The Citadel 7-2 on Friday afternoon in Columbia, SC. That puts the Hokies in a must-win situation on Saturday against Bucknell.
After pitching a complete game and striking out 15 batters in Tech’s ACC Tournament win over Georgia Tech, Justin Wright did not have that type of command against The Citadel. He lasted just 5.1 innings, allowing six earned runs and 10 hits.
The big inning came in the top half of the second, when Wright allowed four runs. With their backs against the wall early in the game, the Hokies weren’t able to rally for the win. Marc Zechinno relieved Wright and allowed one run over 2.2 innings. Ben Rowen pitched the final frame and did not allow any runs.
Virginia Tech’s only runs came off the bat of senior center fielder Sean Ryan. Ryan hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to give his team some runs and some life, but it failed to spark a rally.
Tech slugger Austin Wates hit well, going 3-for-4. Third baseball Tony Balisteri also went 3-for-4, but the rest of the Hokies only managed three hits total. As a team, they left nine runners stranded on base.
The Hokies will play Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at 2pm. The loser is eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.