Parliament Shelled, Comeback Falls Short For No. 13 Hokies Baseball Against Pitt

Grant Manning and the Hokies were right there but fell just short against Pitt. (Morgan Gay)

After falling behind by six runs in the second inning, No. 13 Virginia Tech couldn’t complete a comeback in a hard-fought 7-6 loss to Pitt at English Field on a windy Friday evening.

Hokies (20-5, 9-2 ACC) starter Wyatt Parliament was shelled in the top of the second, giving up five hits on eight pitches — two of which were home runs — prior to recording an out. Then he yielded a third longball with two outs before being pulled. 

The Rutgers transfer previously hadn’t allowed more than five hits or three runs in a game before surrendering six and six, respectively, in the blink of an eye. His 1 ⅔ innings marked the shortest outing by a Tech weekend starter in 2024.

“His fastball was doing some different things,” Hokies head coach John Szefc told reporters after the game. “He had his carry in the first and was running in the second, it was like a completely different pitch. He got knocked around pretty good. That was unfortunate … You have to have a better start, that’s just the way it goes.”

The Panthers (12-12, 2-9) only recorded three hits for the remainder of the ballgame as Tech’s bullpen put together a fantastic outing in relief of Parliament, combining for 7 ⅓ innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts. 

Jacob Exum was first out of the pen with 2 ⅔ scoreless innings just three days after putting up two blank frames on Tuesday against Marshall. After Matthew Siverling gave up Pitt’s last run of the game in the fifth, Grant Manning tossed 2 ⅓ electric no-hit innings, striking out three Panthers.

“Big energy, big time, big games, you’ve just got to go in and perform for your team,” Manning said. “I thought we really could have won the game. We unfortunately just ran out of time, ran out of innings. … It was awesome to be able to have such quality guys come out of that bullpen and deliver zeros to be able to keep our energy inside of our dugout.”

The bullpen’s dominance allowed the Hokies to slowly but surely crawl their way back into the game, scoring six runs in the second through seventh innings. However, they could never quite get over the hump, whether that be tie things up or capture the lead.

Down 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth, Tech loaded the bases with no outs after an error allowed Chris Cannizzaro to reach and a pair of singles from Ben Watson and Gehrig Ebel. That’s when David McCann flew out to right field, allowing Cannizzaro to score from third base. But on the basepaths, Watson misread the relay to the infield and was thrown out at third in an attempt to tag up, culminating in a double play that removed a runner from scoring position.

“It was just a bone-headed play,” Watson said. “Just ran us out of the inning. I was trying to be more aggressive than I should have been. Saw the throw going home and thought I could make it to third. Just wasn’t the right read at all. That one’s just on me.”

Carson DeMartini and the Hokies had chances but couldn’t capitalize against Pitt. (Morgan Gay)

Clay Grady followed that up with a single to bring the tying run aboard, but Christian Martin popped up in foul territory to end the inning.

In the seventh, Carson DeMartini led things off by crushing his 14th home run of the season on a 427-foot blast to right field to cut the lead to one, 7-6. With two outs, Cannizzaro singled to bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but Watson flew out to end the frame.

Virginia Tech had another chance in the bottom of the eighth but Grady, representing the go-ahead run, grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Finally, in the ninth, Eddie Micheletti flew out to end the game with the tying run in scoring position.

“We’re in every game,” Watson said. “We know that our lineup can slug our way back no matter how much we’re down. It just shows how resilient we are. Nobody panics when we get down. I think we’ve seen that a couple of times this year, how we’ve been down and we always make it a game by the end.”

The loss snaps the Hokies’ ACC-best eight-game winning streak and marks just the second home loss of the season after they dropped the Sunday game to Stony Brook on March 3.

Tech still has a chance to win the series on Saturday with Griffin Stieg starting on the mound. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on the ACC Network — the team’s first linear television game of the season.

“The ACC is tough, man,” Szefc said. “Every game is relatively close for most part. The good news is we have an opportunity to come out tomorrow and win a series at home. You’re trying to win a conference series every weekend. And we still have an opportunity to do that tomorrow.”

Box Score: Pitt 7, No. 13 Virginia Tech 6 

2 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Just when you think we’ve turned the corner, we don’t. We haven’t played the ranked teams in the ACC yet, so I’m bracing myself for some significant losses. Still have a chance to be above 500 if the bats stay consistent.

  2. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. Anything but a sweep of Pitt, is a failure. Let’s salvage the series tomorrow.

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