Contributions From All Over Propels Virginia Tech Baseball Past Stony Brook

Wyatt Parliament was very good for Virginia Tech in its Saturday win over Stony Brook. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Virginia Tech received a multitude of benefactions from its lineup and its pitching staff in its 11-5 victory over Stony Brook on Saturday afternoon at English Field. The Hokies notched their sixth consecutive win and third series victory in as many weekends to open the season.

“You want to get off to a good start on a weekend, and we put ourselves in position to sweep three weekends,” Hokies head coach John Szefc said. “That’s really what we should be doing, to be honest with you.”

Seven of the nine starters for Virginia Tech (8-2) recorded hits with five hitters driving in runs. Its arms were largely solid against the Seawolves (3-7), only yielding hits to four batters.

That productivity started early and often for the Hokies, who put up four runs in the first inning, highlighted by a three-run homer from Ben Watson on a two-strike count with two outs. 

Tech once again thrived with two out offense, going 5-for-13 with seven of its 11 RBI. 

Wyatt Parliament took a short while to settle into his third Saturday start, giving up a two-run homer in the top of the first inning. From that moment on, he absolutely cruised his way to 5 ⅓ efficient innings, retiring 13 of the next 15 batters — including a four-pitch third and a seven-pitch fourth — and giving up only one more run on five hits without allowing a walk.

The outing was the longest of the season for Parliament, coming a day after Brett Renfrow did the same. Like his predecessor, the Rutgers transfer attacked the strike zone with ferocity, throwing 48 of his 60 pitches for strikes.

“You’re trying to work up to it with those guys,” Szefc said. “You want guys to maybe go a little further if possible each time they go out there, certainly leading up to ACC play. … I don’t think we’ve ridden anybody yet. It’s been very gradual, which is what you want it to be.”

Offensively, the load was carried by third, fourth and fifth hitters in Tech’s lineup. Chris Cannizzaro, Eddie Micheletti and Sam Tackett combined to go 8-for-13 with seven RBI and a pair of homers — one from Tackett in the third inning and another from Micheletti in the eighth.

“I think I’m a good bat-to-ball guy, but I just wanted to get my A-swing off that at bat,” Micheletti said of his round-tripper. “And my plan worked. So I was very fired up that I followed through with that.”

Cannizzaro kept his batting average at an even .500 (19-for-38), highlighted by a two-out RBI triple in the sixth inning, which summarized that trio’s day. On the next two pitches, Micheletti doubled home Cannizzaro and Tackett singled home Micheletti.

Sam Tackett’s home run in the third was one of three on the day for the Hokies. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Freshman Ethan Gibson made his season debut at first base in lieu of an arm injury sustained by Garrett Michel on Friday, going 1-for-4 with a double. Szefc said that Michel will be reexamined on Sunday by doctors and that the team will know more as the week progresses. 

“He means a lot,” Szefc said of Michel. “That’s a huge loss for us. … He’s a very well-liked guy by our players and staff. He does a lot of things baseball-wise, but also outside of baseball that we all respect a lot. He’ll be fine; whether it’s a long-term injury or whether it’s short-term, we’ll get him back. He’s about as good a teammate as we have.”

Things got shaky for the Hokies in the top of the sixth as Parliament and Jeremy Neff loaded the bases with just one out. But after Jacob Exum entered and gave up an RBI single to bring the go-ahead run to the batter’s box, he induced a textbook 4-6-3 double play to get out of the jam. He’d get another double play in the seventh, where he retired the Seawolves on 10 pitches.

Jordan Little pitched the final two innings for Tech, allowing a run on a solo homer while striking out a pair of Stony Brook batters.  

“Both guys did a good job, even though maybe their numbers weren’t super sexy in the box score,” Szefc said of his relievers. “They quieted things down and minimized the damage. We didn’t give up a big inning there, and that’s what you want your arms to do.”

Despite the final score, Saturday’s win certainly wasn’t Tech’s cleanest by any means. It committed three errors — one of which came from Carson DeMartini, who is 0-for-8 with five strikeouts and two errors in the series — while giving up nine hits and very nearly let Stony Brook back in the game in the sixth inning. Still, the early cushion provided by the offense was more than enough to keep the Seawolves at bay for another Saturday victory.

The Hokies will attempt to pull out the brooms for the second weekend in a row with Griffin Stieg (1-1, 6.43 ERA in seven innings) on the bump on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on the ACC Network Extra. 

Box Score: Virginia Tech 11, Stony Brook 5