Hokies Fall To Rutgers
Tech plays in elimination game Friday at noon
May 22, 2003

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - Rutgers' pitcher Jack Egbert hurled a six-hit shutout as the Scarlet Knights blanked Virginia Tech 6-0 in the opening game of the 2003 BIG EAST Conference Baseball Championship.

The top-seeded Knights advance to a Friday winners' bracket game against the victor of Thursday night's game between No. 2 seed West Virginia and No. 3 seed Notre Dame. Tech (34-22) will play the loser of the Thursday night game in an elimination contest on Friday at noon. The four-team, double-elimination tournament is scheduled to conclude on Saturday.

Egbert (8-4) allowed Tech just seven base runners during the game and never allowed two runners to reach base in the same inning until the ninth. The sophomore right-hander struck out a career-high 11 batters and walked just one. Only two of the Hokies' seven base runners reached second base.

Rutgers (34-18) broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning when left fielder Johnny Defendis singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, took third on a Tech throwing error and scored on a single by RU shortstop Mike Bionde. The Knights put the pressure on Tech with three runs in the fourth inning. A sacrifice fly by Defendis produced the first run and a two-out, two-run triple by center fielder Nick Cerulo capped the inning.

An RBI-triple by first baseman Steve Normane and a run-scoring single by catcher Alberto Vasquez closed out the scoring in the bottom of the fifth inning.

A single by freshman left fielder Shelton Adams (Big Stone Gap, Va.) in the second inning and a double by third baseman Chris Stanton (Centreville, Va.) in the third were the only hits for Tech over the first five innings. Senior shortstop Spencer Harris (Louisa, Va.) and senior center fielder Brad Bauder (Ashburn, Va.) had singles in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively, before the Hokies mounted their only series threat in the ninth.

A double by Harris and an infield single by catcher Wyatt Toregas (Ashburn, Va.) gave Tech runners at first and second in the ninth with one out. Egbert preserved his shutout, however, by coaxing a pop up from Bauder and striking out Adams to end the game.

Tech starting pitcher Jeff Landing (Jamestown, N.C.) went 3 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on five hits. Landing, whose record is now 4-4, walked four batters. Junior Jay Musialowski (Depew, N.Y.) pitched the final 4 1/3 innings for the Hokies. He allowed two runs on three hits, struck out five batters and walked two. Tech tied a tournament record by posting four double-plays during the game.

Rutgers finished with eight hits in the game. Normane led the way with two.