Hokies Win In 12 Innings
Pinch-hit single by Adams drives in winning run
February 27, 2005

HIGH POINT, N.C. - A pinch-hit single by junior Sheldon Adams in the top of the 12th inning drove in what proved to be the game-winning run as Virginia Tech gained a 6-5 victory Sunday afternoon against High Point University.

For the second day in a row, Tech had to work extra innings to earn a victory against the Panthers. Saturday, Tech won a 7-5 decision in 10 innings. On Sunday, a pair of Blacksburg High School products played important roles in the win.

Senior second baseman Tom Blaszak (Blacksburg) led off the top of the 12th inning for the Hokies by drawing a base on balls. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and took third on an unsuccessful fielder's choice by HPU third baseman Matt Christie. The left-handed hitting Adams (Big Stone Gap, Va.) then lined the first pitch he saw over the second base bag to break a 5-5 tie.

Freshman pitcher Bobby West (Blacksburg) was the beneficiary of the run, earning his first collegiate victory. West, a right-hander, took the mound to begin the 10th inning and worked three scoreless innings. He allowed just one hit and walked a man, but still faced the minimum nine batters after coaxing double-plays in both the 11th and 12th innings.

Tech, which won its fifth-straight game since opening with a loss to Villanova, took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning when freshman catcher Jose Rojas (Paterson, N.J.) hit a towering home run to left center field. High Point answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth, before Tech struck for a pair of runs in the sixth on a two-run single by left fielder Billy Marn (Yorktown, Va.).

The Panthers (5-7) picked up a run on a double by second baseman Dustin Holtzman in the sixth inning and took the lead with a three-run seventh inning. An RBI-double by left fielder Chris Ramirez produced High Point's first run in the seventh, and a two-run single off the bat of shortstop Jeremy Neyra put HPU up 5-3.

Tech pulled even in the eight inning. First baseman Chris Stanton (Centreville, Va.) reached on an error to open the inning. Stanton moved to second when Rojas drew a one-out walk. Third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.) brought Stanton home with a double, which also moved pinch-runner Jonathan Howlett (Gloucester) to third. A pinch-hit sacrifice fly by sophomore Matt Foley (Lansdowne, Va.) tied the game.

Sophomore Andrew Wells (Alexandria, Va.) opened the game on the mound for Tech and pitched 4 2/3 innings before leaving the game with a sore elbow. Wells allowed three hits and a run. The Hokies used a total of five pitchers in the game with sophomore Adam Redd (Dumfries, Va.) and West closing out the contest with a combined 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Redd, like West, gave up just one hit.

High Point out-hit Tech 10-8. Ramirez contributed two hits for the Panthers as did center fielder Josh Doane, first baseman Randy Cotton and designated hitter Randy Schwartz.

Thomas paced the Hokies with two hits, including his seventh double of the year.

Tech is scheduled to play at James Madison on Wednesday at 3 p.m., before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play at Maryland on Friday.