W: Murphy, Ryan (1-0)
L: Jackson Ritchey (0-1)
S: Ottinger, Eli (1)
HARRISONBURG, Va. – Despite allowing four hits on Tuesday afternoon, the Virginia Tech baseball team was denied a chance at hopping back into the win column as the Hokies were defeated, 5-2, by James Madison at Veterans Memorial Park.
Tanner Schobel’s double two batters into the fourth inning marked the first hit of the ballgame for Virginia Tech (10-5), which dug itself into a 4-0 hole once the bottom of the inning had been completed. James Madison (9-8) plated runs during the first and fourth innings without registering hits during either frame, grabbing early insurance from Kyle Novak’s two-run home run against Christian Worley.
Conor Hartigan – who is pursuing his graduate degree at Tech after his four-year playing career at JMU – doubled to lead off the fifth inning, helping his new team make its way onto the scoreboard. Two batters later, Carson DeMartini knocked Hartigan in with his single through the left side, reducing the Hokies’ deficit to 4-1.
Fifth-year second baseman Eduardo Malinowski brought Tech a peg closer during the sixth inning, powering his ninth home run of the season over the left field fence. Malinowski’s nine home runs through his first 15 appearances with the Hokies are one shy of equaling the 10 home runs he hit during his four-year tenure at Penn (95 appearances).
JMU matched Tech with a run during the bottom of the sixth inning, turning an intentional walk and two hit batsmen into its fifth run of the day.
Gavin Cross doubled during his final at-bat of the game, extending his season-opening hitting streak to 13 consecutive games.
Ryan Murphy started, threw six innings and earned the win for James Madison while Eli Ottinger picked up the three-inning save. Jackson Ritchey and Peter Sakellaris combined for more than four innings on the mound for the Hokies, who threw eight pitchers in total.
Virginia Tech will open a three-game ACC series against Pitt on Friday, March 18, at English Field at Atlantic Union Bank Park. First pitch is scheduled for 2 pm (previously 4 pm).