Home Didawick blast walks off Virginia Tech: ‘Hoos win, 10-9, in 13 innings

Didawick blast walks off Virginia Tech: ‘Hoos win, 10-9, in 13 innings

Chris Graham

uva logo blue Virginia trailed Virginia Tech 7-0 in the second, but the ‘Hoos got great work from its bullpen, back-to-back homers in a five-run seventh, and finally, a walk-off two-run home run from Harrison Didawick in the bottom of the 13th in a wild 10-9 win on Saturday night.

The Hokies (32-20, 14-16 ACC) came into the weekend probably needing a series win to get on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble, but they came into Saturday’s series finale, following back-to-back losses, hoping just to salvage a game to try to build some momentum in next week’s ACC Tournament.

A three-run first and a four-spot in the second that knocked out UVA starter Owen Coady (1-1, 5.94 ERA) seemed to foretell good things for Tech, which started the season 21-5 and won 10 of its first 12 in ACC play.

A Casey Saucke two-run homer got Virginia (40-14, 18-12 ACC) on the board in the third, and it would stay there into the seventh.

Saucke scored Griff O’Ferrall from second with an RBI single, ahead of Henry Ford launching a 1-1 pitch into the stands in left for a three-run homer.

The next hitter, Jacob Ference, hit the next pitch deep into the ‘Hoo Zone to tie the game at 7-7.

The Hokies got back on top in the top of the eighth on an RBI single from Clay Grady, but UVA got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI sac fly from Saucke.

And that’s where we’d be into the 13th, when Tech took a lead on an RBI sac fly from Eddie Micheletti to go on top, 9-8.

Ethan Anderson worked a walk off Grant Manning, who was lifted for lefty David Shoemaker, to set up a lefty-lefty matchup with Didawick.

On a 2-2 pitch, Didawick lined a shot to deep right-center that centerfielder Ben Watson tracked to the wall, but his leaping effort came up empty as the ball sailed out.

Chase Hungate (7-1, 3.95 ERA) got the win in relief. Hungate was the last of five UVA relievers, who as a group gave up four runs on eight hits in 12 innings of work.

The win vaulted Virginia into the #4 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament. UVA will be in a three-team pool with #5 seed Florida State (39-14, 17-12) and #9 seed Georgia Tech (31-21, 15-15 ACC).

Virginia Tech is the #10 seed, and will be in a three-team pool with the #3 seed, NC State (32-19, 18-11 ACC), and #6 seed Duke (35-18, 16-14 ACC).

Game times Tuesday through Friday are set for 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday’s semifinals are scheduled for 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., while Sunday’s championship will begin at noon.

The complete schedule for the 2024 ACC Tournament will be released late Sunday morning.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].