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Jackets' Rally Comes Up Short As Hokies Avoid Sweep

May 4, 2014

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THE FLATS – Daniel Spingola had three hits and drove in a pair of runs, but Virginia Tech scored four times in the first inning and withstood a late Georgia Tech rally to beat the Yellow Jackets, 7-6, at Russ Chandler Stadium on Sunday to avoid a sweep.

The Jackets (28-20, 14-13) got two runs back in the bottom of the first, plated two more in the sixth to pull within 5-4 and scored once in the eighth and once in the ninth before the rally expired. The Hokies improved to 18-27-1, 8-19.

Spingola was 3-for-5 Sunday with a triple and the junior from the Marist School finished the series for 8-for-15 (.533) with two triples, two runs and four RBI. His seven triples lead the ACC and are the tied for the seventh-most in a single-season at Tech. A.J. Murray was also 3-for-5 on Sunday.

Spingola’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning cut the deficit to 7-5 after the Hokies got much-needed insurance from Mark Zaguinis in the seventh with a two-run single to right.

In the ninth with one out, Murray singled, Connor Justus walked and Brandon Gold came through with a tailing liner to left that dropped for an RBI single. The Hokies turned to Tanner McIntyre who was able to get a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play as Justus was nabbed at third to end the game.

McIntyre earned his second save and the win went to starter Kit Scheetz (4-1), who tossed 5.1 innings with eight hits, four runs, two walks and six strikeouts.

Ben Parr shook off a rocky first inning in his first career ACC start and retired 13 straight Hokies after allowing four runs on three hits in the first. Brendon Hayden’s RBI single allowed the visitors to draw first blood and Logan Bible’s three-double into the right-field corner made it 4-0.

The Jackets trimmed the margin in half in the bottom of the first as Mott Hyde walked to lead off the game, then scored when Spingola rocketed a three-bagger to the right-field corner. Matt Gonzalez delivered an RBI single in the next at bat.

Looking to cut further into the deficit, Tech left runners stranded in each of the first four innings — including runners at second and third with one out in the third — and finished the game with 11 runners left on, including six in scoring position.

Zagunis, Hayden and Phil Sciretta had consecutive singles in the sixth inning which halted Parr’s streak of 13-straight retired and Scrietta’s RBI single to left made it 5-2.

Arden Pabst came through with a two-run single to left in the home half of the sixth as the Jackets inched closer, but Zagunis’ two-run knock in the seventh answered that.

Rookie reliever Ben Schniederjans entered the game in the seventh with the bases loaded and one out, promptly rolling a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat. The righty tossed a shutout over the final 2.2 innings with two hits, no walks and two strikeouts.

Parr absorbed the loss (4-2), after yielding six hits and five runs with six strikeouts over six innings.

Tech is back in action Tuesday afternoon hosting North Florida at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. on ESPN3.

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