Virginia Tech quieted by No. 18 Virginia during Clash opener

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Despite senior Gehrig Ebel's two-hit performance on Thursday night, the Virginia Tech baseball team needed an extra gear to contend with No. 18 Virginia as the Hokies played to the 7-3 defeat at Davenport Field at Disharoon Park during the opening game of the Commonwealth Clash presented by Smithfield.

Ebel scored two of Tech's three runs, cracking one-out singles during the top of the fourth and eighth innings. Outside of Ebel, the Hokies received five hits from five other contributors while being held without an extra-base hit for the second time this season (April 13 at Georgia Tech).

Virginia Tech (32-18, 14-14 ACC) fell behind, 5-0, to Virginia (38-14, 16-12 ACC) after three innings of play, largely in part to a pair of two-run home runs by Eric Becker (second inning) and Jacob Ference (third inning). Harrison Didawick doubled off starter Brett Renfrow during the at-bat immediately following Ference's homer, scoring when Henry Godbout singled through the right side – the last of seven hits allowed by Renfrow through three innings of work.

Tech clawed back into the contest during the top of the fourth inning, turning an errant throw by Becker into two unearned runs.

With Ebel on second base, Eddie Eisert grounded the inning's potential final out to third base where Becker's ensuing throw sailed into the stands out of play. Awaiting placement by the umpires, Ebel was granted home plate for the Hokies' first run while Eisert was ushered towards second base, from where he soon came home on Christian Martin's RBI single.

Veteran southpaw Matthew Siverling replaced Renfrow at the start of the fourth inning, picking up five outs in succession before allowing a solo home run to Didawick, lying Virginia the 6-2 lead. Siverling recorded two strikeouts through two and two-thirds innings pitched, departing during a two-on, two-out jam during the bottom of the sixth inning.

There, Casey Saucke greeted relief arm Grant Manning with an RBI single, extending the Cavaliers' lead to 7-2.

Virginia Tech was kept in check by starter Evan Blanco, who threw seven and one-third innings, scattering five hits while allowing two unearned runs. Blanco was lifted with the bases clear during the top of the eighth inning, departing before David McCann was able to muster an RBI, pinch-hit single that set the game's final score.

Virginia Tech will play to level the series against No. 18 Virginia on Friday, May 17. First pitch between the Hokies and the Cavaliers has been moved up to 12 noon (previously 6 p.m.).