Hokies Edge VMI
Dalton picks up 10th save
April 15, 2003

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech took advantage of five VMI errors to hand the Keydets a 6-4 loss at English Field on Tuesday. The win improved Tech's overall record to 23-9, while VMI fell to 14-18.

The Hokies opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning when freshman left fielder Sheldon Adams (Big Stone Gap, Va.) drew a leadoff walk. Adams moved to third on the Keydets' first error of the game and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Wyatt Toregas (Ashburn, Va.).

Tech starting pitcher Seth Bandy (Pembroke, Va.) threw four shutout innings before running into trouble in the top of the fifth inning. After Bandy issued a pair of one-out walks, VMI center fielder Brandon Massenburg belted a two-run triple. Keydet third baseman Kelly Sweppenhiser followed with a single that plated Massenburg and gave the visitors a 3-1 lead.

Tech got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning when sophomore third baseman Chris Stanton (Centreville, Va.) and senior second baseman Marc Tugwell (Springfield, Va.) slugged back-to-back doubles with two outs in the inning. Stanton's run would be the Hokies' only earned run of the game.

VMI took a 4-2 advantage when shortstop Matt Smith singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the top of the seventh. That lead, however, evaporated in the bottom of the seventh, when the Keydets fell victim to their own mistakes.

Designated hitter Philip Beall (Dumfries, Va.) drew a walk to open Tech's half of the seventh inning. After right fielder Matt Kalish (Miami, Fla.) reached on a catcher's interference, Adams attempted to bunt the runners over. VMI reliever Will Paulette fielded Adams' bunt and threw wildly past third base in an effort to retire Beall. Paulette's throwing error was compounded by a fielding error in left field, allowing all three Tech players to score.

Tech added to its 5-4 lead in the eighth inning when senior shortstop Spencer Harris (Louisa, Ky.) reached base on VMI's final error of the game. Harris stole second and scored on a two-out double by Kalish.

Freshman Nicky Bowers (Stuart, Va.), the Hokies' third pitcher of the game, picked up the victory. Bowers (3-0) did not give up a hit or run in his 1 2/3 innings of work. Senior Matt Dalton (Monroeville, Pa.) pitched the ninth inning to earn his 10th save of the year.

Four VMI pitchers, including starter Jeremy Harper, combined to hold Tech to six hits. Paulette (0-2) took the loss for the visitors, who got two hits from Sweppenhiser. Tugwell led the Hokies with a 2-for-4 day.

Tech is scheduled to face Virginia at English Field on Wednesday at 3 p.m.