BLACKSBURG — Virginia Tech had known since Thursday night that its baseball season would come to an end Saturday.
However, it’s hard to say that any matchup with Virginia can be described as meaningless.
After losing the first two games of a three-game set, the Hokies defeated the Cavaliers 8-4 at English Field.
It was a somewhat memorable afternoon as Hokies head coach John Szefc was ejected in the second inning for comments made to one of the umpires.
Assistant coach Kurt Elbin took over for Szefc, who apparently had been warned before he took leave of the premises.
“The umpire, Nathan [Huber] didn’t agree with something coach Szefc had said,” Elbin related. “Actually, I was at the end of the dugout, so I didn’t hear much.
“Somebody handed me a lineup card and said [Szefc] had been ejected and I said OK. Nothing really changed. Coach Szefc lets coach [Ryan] Fecteau and me do a lot of coaching during games and he’s extremely trusting of us.”
Szefc was not available for comment after the game.
It wasn’t the first ejection in the recent history of the series. Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor was ejected from the first game of a series in Blacksburg in 2015.
“We got swept here that year,” O’Connor said. “We ended up winning the national championship, so everything worked out in the end.”
Virginia (32-22, 14-16 ACC) had won the first two games of this weekend’s series, handing the Hokies an 8-6 extra-innings loss in Thursday night’s opener.
The Hokies had entered the weekend in need of three wins and three Boston College losses in the final weekend of regular-season play in order to qualify for one of the spots in the upcoming ACC Tournament, but that was no longer a possibility after BC won on Thursday.
Tech led early in both of the first two games, including a 2-0 lead through five innings in a Friday afternoon affair that Virginia came back to win 5-3.
The Hokies went up 3-2 on Saturday, but this time they held on, with the decision going to sixth-year right-hander Luke Scherzer.
“There’s nothing like beating Virginia; that’s for sure,” said Scherzer, who missed his original junior and senior seasons after twice undergoing Tommy John surgery to repair ligaments in his right elbow.
“You can’t complain about beating them once.”
Tech recognized six seniors before the game — four players, a manager and a student trainer. One of the players, second baseman Jack Owens, was 3 for 4 and drove in two runs.
Virginia used eight pitchers, matching a season high, and only one, sophomore Devin Ortiz, pitched with any distinction. He didn’t allow a run in 3 2/3 innings and struck out five — the only strikeouts registered by UVa in the first eight innings.
Starter Mike Vasil, a freshman who was projected as a high draft pick before he signed with UVa, didn’t get out of the second inning.
“We had won five in a row [before Saturday] and had a chance to do something really special,” O’Connor said. “We didn’t play a good game defensively and didn’t get off to a good start from a pitching standpoint.
“Ortiz was outstanding; he’s been really great for us and gave us a chance to win that ballgame. We’re in a situation where we have to go down to Durham [for the ACC Tournament] and be really, really successful.
“Unless we win the tournament, our fate will be in the [NCAA] committee’s hands.”