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Virginia Tech 5, Boston College 0: Bats Go Silent In Series Opening Loss

Eagles muster only four hits while Virginia Tech takes the first game behind a three-run homer by Joe Friday, Jr.

Courtesy BC Athletics | John Quackenbos

Kit Scheetz threw 125 pitches over 6.2 innings, limiting Boston College to four hits, as his Virginia Tech Hokies took the first game of their three-game series in Chestnut Hill with a 5-0 victory on Friday afternoon.

Coming one out short of going a full seven innings, Scheetz struck out one and walked three, In two of his six complete innings, he retired the Eagles in order as BC struggled to consistently get base runners. Receiving a boost from his offense, he earned his fifth win of the year in shutting down the Eagle bats.

The tone of the game shifted early when VT scored after BC failed to push a run across. In the bottom of the second, Gian Martellini singled and Johnny Adams doubled to put runners on second and third with one out. But Logan Hoggarth grounded out to third, and Gabe Hernandez grounded out to short as Scheetz worked out of the jam.

Flipping to the top of the third, the Hokies talled a run to take a 1-0 lead. With two outs, Saige Jenco singled and stole second. He scored when Tom Stoffel grounded to second, a play that Jake Palomaki misplayed to score the unearned run.

After the Eagles went quietly in the third, Virginia Tech busted the game open against freshman Jacob Stevens by using the long ball. After Stevens hit Ryan Tufts with a pitch, Garrett Hudson doubled to left, putting runners on second and third with one out. That set up Joe Friday, Jr, who launched the first pitch he saw over the short right field wall to push three runs across. Though Stevens got out of the rest of the inning unscathed, the Hokies had a commanding 4-0 lead.

They added one more in the top of the fifth when Hudson doubled home Phil Sciretta.

As for BC, they failed to really generate offense again until the seventh inning. After Scheetz retired Adams and Hoggarth to start the inning, he walked Gabe Hernandez and pinch hitter Scott Braren, then hit Jake Palomaki to load the bases. The Hokies pulled Scheetz in favor of Jon Woodcock, who induced a grounder to short by Nick Sciortino that retired Palomaki the short way to second.

In relief of Stevens, the freshmen who struggled against Bryant bounced back in a big way. Sean Hughes pitched two outs, walking one and striking out one without allowing a hit before giving way to Zach Stromberg, who pitched 2.2 innings of one-hit baseball with two strikes. Jack Nelson pitched the top of the ninth, facing four batters and striking out one.

Stevens (3-3), however, wound up taking the loss. In 4.2 innings, he gave up eight hits and a career high five runs, matching a career high with four earned runs allowed. He did strike out five and only walk one in an outing that wasn't as bad as the numbers indicated. Allowing an unearned run and one mistake pitch that was crushed to right, he didn't work into as much trouble as the statistics might show.

He got no help, however, from his offense. Sciortino, Joe Cronin, Martellini, and Adams mustered the only BC hits. the rest of the lineup went 0-15 with three walks. They didn't strike out much, but the pitch-to-contact method of Virginia Tech's throwers induced 14 groundouts and 10 fly balls, nearly split evently (10-9) by Scheetz.

Scheetz picked up the win (5-4) for his performance, anchored down the stretch by Jon Woodcock's first save of the year.

The Eagles will look to rebound on Saturday in the fourth annual Wounded Warrior Project game, with first pitch scheduled for 1:30 PM.