Hokies Split With Panthers
Stanton goes 7-for-9 at the plate during twinbill
May 10, 2003

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Virginia Tech split a BIG EAST double-header at the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday, winning the seven-inning opening game 4-3, then dropping the nine-inning second game 14-13. Tech maintained its hold on fourth place in the conference standings with the split. The Hokies have a 14-8 league mark and a 32-18 overall record.

Tech third baseman Chris Stanton (Centreville, Va.) went 7-for-9 at the plate during the afternoon and provided the winning run in the first game. Stanton singled home shortstop Spencer Harris (Louisa, Ky.) in the top of the seventh of the opener, breaking a 3-3 tie. Tech reliever Matt Dalton (Monroeville, Pa.), who had entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, retired Pittsburgh in order in the bottom of the seventh to preserve the victory and earn his second win of the season against no losses.

The Hokies had trouble protecting leads in both games. After the Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the opening game, Tech scored three runs in the second inning. An RBI-double by Harris plated the first run. First baseman Chris Winterfeldt (Lynchburg, Va.) followed with a sacrifice fly and Stanton added a run-scoring single to put the Hokies on top 3-1.

Pittsburgh (34-18; 11-11) got to Tech starter Nicky Bowers (Stuart, Va.) in the fifth inning, scoring twice to tie the score. Harris then led off the top of the seventh for Tech with a single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Winterfeldt before scoring on Stanton's second single of the game.

While the first game had a combined total 12 hits and seven runs, the second game featured 12 runs and 14 hits - in the first three innings alone. Overall, the Hokies and Panthers combined for 27 runs, 33 hits and eight home runs in the nightcap.

Tech scored four runs in the top of the first inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by second baseman Marc Tugwell (Springfield, Va.), a two-run homer by catcher Wyatt Toregas (Ashburn, Va.) and a solo home run by freshman left fielder Sheldon Adams (Big Stone Gap, Va.). Pittsburgh responded with two runs in the bottom of the inning on a homer by shortstop Bryan Spamer.

Run-scoring singles by Stanton and Harris made the score 6-2 in the top of the second inning, but the Panthers came back to tie the contest with four runs on five hits in the bottom of the third. Spamer did most of the damage with a three-run homer, then first baseman Tom Cashman followed with a solo shot.

Tech took a short-lived 7-6 lead in the fourth on another RBI-single by Stanton, but Pittsburgh took the lead for good with back-to-back three-run innings in the fourth and fifth. Spamer had a run-scoring double in the fourth and left fielder Stuart Rykaceski belted a three-run homer in the fifth.

A solo homer by Stanton cut the Pittsburgh lead to 12-8 in the sixth before a Tech throwing error opened the door for two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning. The Hokies continued to battle, cutting the lead to one run with five runs on five hits in the seventh inning. Center fielder Brad Bauder (Ashburn, Va.) had a two-run homer in the inning and freshman Joel Miller (Dumfries, Va.) contributed a pinch-hit double that scored another run. The fourth run of the inning came home on a ground-out by Winterfeldt and then Stanton finished a 5-for-5 game with another RBI-single.

Pittsburgh reliever Adam Luckette walked two Tech batters in the eighth inning but got himself out of the jam by coaxing a one-out double-play to end the threat. Pittsburgh right-hander Brian Jacobsen retired Tech in order in the ninth to finish the game and earn his third save of the season. Don Rhoten, the second of five Panther pitchers, picked up the victory with five innings of relief work. Tech's Josh Biber (5-3) suffered the loss in relief.

Stanton had four runs batted in and three runs scored in the second game. Adams contributed three hits in five at bats during the game and Winterfeldt collected a pair of doubles. Spamer led Pittsburgh's 18-hit attack with four hits in five at bats. He drove in six runs and scored three. Rykaceski also had four hits in the second game for the Panthers.

The two teams are scheduled to complete their three-game series with a noon game on Sunday.