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Hokies Rally for Comeback Victory over Flames

April 26, 2016  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Andrew Yacyk had two hits and a RBI, scoring twice, Tuesday.

Andrew Yacyk had two hits and a RBI, scoring twice, Tuesday.

The Virginia Tech Hokies rallied from eight runs down in the eighth inning to defeat the Liberty Flames, 11-10, Tuesday evening at Liberty Baseball Stadium.

With the Flames leading 10-2 after seven innings, the Hokies sent 12 batters to plate in the eighth to tie the contest and then plated an unearned run in the top of the ninth to complete their comeback and claim an 11-10 victory.

Liberty center fielder D.J. Artis collected two hits and walked twice to improve his Big South-leading on-base percentage to .524. Second baseman Will Shepherd, left fielder Andrew Yacyk and shortstop Dalton Britt also had two hits apiece for the Flames.

Liberty first baseman Sammy Taormina also hit his second home run of the season in the contest.

Liberty falls to 21-22 on the year, while Virginia Tech improves to 14-28. With the Hokies' victory, the two teams end up splitting their two meetings in 2016. The Flames defeated the Hokies, 22-7, earlier in the year in Blacksburg, Va.

Liberty jumped out to an early 4-0 advantage in the second. Yacyk singled and Britt walked to lead off the bottom half of the inning. Three batters later, right fielder Jack Morris' two-out double plated both runners for a 2-0 edge. Third baseman Josh Barrick was then hit by a pitch, and Morris and he both scored on a single by Artis to give the Flames a 4-0 advantage.

Virginia Tech plated its first two runs of the contest in the fourth. First baseman Phil Sciretta was hit by a pitch, pitcher Nick Anderson singled and third baseman Sam Fragale walked, loading the bases to open the inning. A wild pitch allowed Sciretta to score and a sacrifice fly by left fielder Garrett Hudson cut the Liberty edge to 4-2.

The Flames extended their lead in the fifth with three runs. Artis singled and pinch hitter Austin Bream walked to begin the home half of the frame. Two batters later, Yacyk drove in Artis with a single for a 5-2 lead. Britt and catcher Payton Scarbrough followed with run-scoring singles, upping the Liberty advantage to 7-2.

Liberty added a single run in the sixth and two more runs in the seventh. In the sixth, Artis drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on a single by Shepherd. In the seventh, Taormina belted a home run into the right field bullpen with Scarbrough aboard, who was hit by a pitch, for a 10-2 lead.

Virginia Tech tied the contest, striking for eight runs in the top of the eighth. The first three batters in the inning reached on a throwing error by Liberty third baseman Barrick, a hit by pitch and a walk. A ground out by center fielder Saige Jenco plated the first run of the uprising, and shortstop Ryan Tufts followed with a RBI double to make it, 10-4, Flames.

After a walk loaded the bases and a Liberty pitching change, the Hokies scored two more runs on an Anderson single and Fragle being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to trim the Liberty advantage to 10-6. Hudson then lifted a sacrifice fly, moving the Hokies to within three at 10-7. Two batters later, pinch hitter Tom Stoffel tied the game at 10-10 with a two-out bases-clearing double.

In the bottom of the inning, the Flames moved runners into scoring position at second and third with two outs, but came away empty.

Virginia Tech plated the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Tufts singled and moved to second on a fielding error by Liberty center fielder Artis. After advancing to third on a fielder's choice, Tufts scored on a two-out single by Fragle for an 11-10 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Andrew Kowalo, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the eighth at third base, was hit by a pitch. Pinch runners Josh Close then stole second base to move into scoring positon with two outs. However, Hokie pitcher Nic Enright was able to retire the next batter to seal the Virginia Tech come-from-behind victory.

Liberty reliever Shane Quarterley drops to 5-4 on the year. He gave up an unearned run on two hits over 1 1/3 innings. He walked one.

Virginia Tech's Enright moves to 1-2. He pitched two scoreless innings, striking out two and walking one.

The Flames used seven pitchers in the contest, while the Hokies used four.

Liberty outhit Virginia Tech, 11-10. The Flames committed two errors. Virginia Tech left 13 men on base, while Liberty left 10.

The Flames travel to Williamsburg, Va., for a contest against the Tribe of William & Mary, tomorrow. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.