Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

March 18, 2013

Hokies' baseball coach gets 500th career victory

Virginia Tech sweeps Duke on the diamond

Wire reports
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

DURHAM, N.C. — The Virginia Tech Hokies broke out of a 2-2 tie in the sixth inning to defeat Duke 6-2 on Sunday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep and giving coach Pete Hughes his 500th career win as a baseball head coach.

Tech (16-5, 4-2 ACC) is off to its best overall start as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, which it joined in 2005.

Hokies starting pitcher Joe Mantiply (1-0) allowed a lead-off triple to Duke’s Andy Perez and an RBI single to Jeff Kremer before recording an out at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

The rest of the way, he scattered four more hits over five full innings, allowed the two runs and struck out three.

Clark Labitan threw the final four innings, tying a career-high, and did not allow a run on three hits and struck out four to pick up his fourth save of the season.

Kyle Wernicki gave the Hokies a 2-1 lead in the second when he singled with two outs and the bases loaded. Tyler Horan, who had doubled, and Mark Zagunis scored.

In the sixth, with the score knotted 2-2, Brendon Hayden singled home.

Zagunis and Andew Rash hit solo home runs in the next two innings, and Hayden tallied the final run on a single by Alex Perez in the eighth.

Andy Perez of Duke (10-10, 2-4 ACC) collected three hits. The Blue Devils’ starter Robert Huber suffered the loss and is now 2-2.

Virginia Tech hosts Liberty on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.