No. 5 Virginia Tech Rallies in Ninth Inning to Edge Liberty 2-1
Down to their last out, the No. 5 Virginia Tech plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 win over the Liberty Flames, Wednesday evening at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park.
Held to two hits over the first eight innings by the Flames, the Hokies used three two-out singles for the come-from-behind victory. Second baseman Eduardo Malinowski tied the game with an RBI single and first baseman Lucas Dolan dropped a bases-loaded single into left to score the game-winning run.
Liberty took advantage of Virginia Tech error in fourth for a 1-0 lead. Center fielder Derek Orndorff reached on a throwing error by Hokies’ shortstop Tanner Schobel with two outs and scored a single back through the middle of the diamond by left fielder Three Hillier.
Before the bottom of the ninth, Liberty and Virginia Tech pitching had combined to allow only five hits in the game. Liberty had three of the five, while Virginia Tech managed two.
Liberty drops to 30-17 on the season. Virginia Tech improves to 35-10.
Box Score Highlights
Records: Liberty (30-17); Virginia Tech (35-10)
Location: Blacksburg, Va. (English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park)
WP: Kiernan Higgins (3-0) | LP: Dylan Cumming (4-4)
4th INNING – LIBERTY – Hillier singles, Orndorff (unearned) scores, 1-0
9th INNING – VT – Malinowski singles, Schobel (unearned) scores, 1-1
9th INNING – VT Donlon singles, Malinowski scores, 2-1
– Virginia Tech outhits Liberty, 5-3. Each team committed one error in the game.
– Liberty left four men on base. Virginia Tech left seven men on base.
– Liberty’s five pitchers in the contest combined to strike out nine and walk two.
– Dylan Cumming takes the loss. The Flames’ fourth pitcher in the contest, he gave up two runs on one hit over 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three batters and did not walk a batter.
– Virginia Tech’s fourth pitcher of the night, Kiernan Higgins, records the win. He pitched a scoreless ninth.
– Hokies pitching struck out 14 and walked one in the contest.
– No player had more than one hit in the game.
Beyond the Box Score
– Virginia Tech takes both meetings between the two teams, this season. The Hokies won 10-6 in Lynchburg on April 12.
– The Flames lose for only the second time in four years when leading after six innings. Liberty is now 108-2 when leading after six innings since 2019.
– Liberty pitching retired 10 batters in a row from the fourth through seventh innings in the game. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech pitching retired the first 11 Liberty batters of the contest.
With two out and Liberty leading 1-0 in the ninth, Virginia Tech’s Schobel moved into scoring position at second base on a passed ball. Malinowski followed with a single through the right side of the infield off of Cumming to score the runner and tie the game at 1-1.
The Flames turned to the bullpen and brought in Cade Hungate to try and get the final out. Hokie catcher Cade Hunter singled and designated hitter Christian Martin walked to load the bases. Dolan followed by lifting an 0-2 single into left field for the walk-off victory.
The Flames travel to Fort Myers, Fla., for a three-game ASUN Conference series against the FGCU Eagles, this weekend at Swanson Stadium. The series opener on Friday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.