W: Christian Worley (1-0)
L: Billy Barlow (2-4)
Tech veterans Nick Biddison and Carson Jones combined for a pair of multi-home run nights as Virginia Tech (41-11) set the program record for most runs scored during an ACC tournament game. Gavin Cross and Tanner Schobel united with Biddison during the third inning to swing the Hokies’ first set of back-to-back-to-back home runs since 2017 – combining with Jones to yield Tech’s first four-homer inning during its ACC tenure.
When the fireworks had ended, sophomore right-hander Christian Worley inherited the Hokies’ 10-6 lead during the bottom of the fourth inning, retiring each of the next 10 batters he faced in succession. Worley earned the first victory of his collegiate career, recording three strikeouts before his outing was halted by a 53-minute rain delay during the bottom of the seventh inning.
Tech’s top four hitters of its lineup combined to bat 10-for-19, swing seven extra-base hits, score eight runs and earn 11 RBIs. Biddison tied his career high with five RBIs, doubling in a run ahead of his two homers; Cross (3-for-6) finished a double short of hitting for the cycle and Schobel went 2-for-3 with a double, a homer and a sacrifice fly, also scoring on a wild pitch.
Jack Hurley put the Hokies on top during the first inning, singling in Biddison after he and Schobel had drawn walks against the Tigers’ starter, Billy Barlow. Gifted an infield error during the top of the second inning, Tech put its first two batters aboard, advancing its lead to 3-0 after Biddison’s RBI double and an RBI groundout by Cross.
Ryan Metz pitched a perfect first inning for the Hokies, though surrendered a two-run home run to Blake Wright during the bottom of the second inning that tightened the game. However, Tech responded with a third-inning rally of epic proportions, bringing out its iconic home run hammer four times to rush out to the 10-2 lead.
With two outs, Jones stroked a two-run blast to right field, circling the bases for the sixth time (soon to be seventh time) during his last five games. After Donlon had extended the inning with a walk, Carson DeMartini singled him into scoring position before Biddison brought them all home, bouncing a three-run homer off the top of the wall in right field.
Two pitches later, Cross teed off on his 14th home run of the season, only to be one-upped by Schobel, who hit a 437-foot shot to left field for his team leading, 17th homer of the year.
Max Wagner – the 2022 ACC Player of the Year – and Camden Troyer managed to each swing two-run homers for Clemson (35-23), which trimmed the Hokies’ lead to 10-6. Riding the security of Worley on the mound, Tech tacked on two runs during the fifth and seventh innings, adding four insurance runs during the top of the ninth inning to put the game out of reach.
• Thursday’s ACC tournament game marked the fourth instance of Gavin Cross and Tanner Schobel hitting back-to-back home runs this season. The pair of Hokies have done so at North Carolina (April 1, twice), at Boston College (April 22) and against Clemson (May 26).
• Tech’s six home runs during Thursday’s game are the most the Hokies have hit during the ACC tournament.
• Thursday’s win marked Tech’s first postseason win under fifth-year head coach John Szefc and the Hokies’ first ACC tournament victory since 2013.
No. 2 Virginia Tech will play its Pool A finale on Friday, May 27, at 7 p.m. when the Hokies take on eighth-seeded North Carolina. Tech can champion Pool A and clinch a berth in Saturday’s ACC semifinal round with a win against the Tar Heels.