Tech Bounced From BIG EAST Championship
Loss to West Virginia ends Hokies' season
May 23, 2003

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. - Lefty Zac Cline tossed a one-hit shutout as West Virginia bounced Virginia Tech out of the BIG EAST Baseball Championship with a 10-0 victory in an elimination game Friday.

The defeat marked the second-straight shutout loss for Tech in the double-elimination tournament and closed out the Hokies' season at 34-23. Tech lost to top seed Rutgers 6-0 in the opening game of the event. The losses marked the first time the Hokies have been shut out in back-to-back games during Coach Chuck Hartman's 25 seasons at the helm.

Cline (12-3) pitched four perfect innings before allowing a line-drive single by Tech sophomore catcher Wyatt Toregas (Ashburn, Va.)to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning. Cline allowed just three base runners in the game, walking first baseman Chris Winterfeldt (Lynchburg, Va.) to open the bottom of the sixth inning and walking Toregas with one out in the seventh. The WVU sophomore struck out a career-high 13 batters during the game.

The second-seeded Mountaineers (36-18) gave Cline plenty of offensive support with 18 hits. West Virginia's first three runs came on solo home runs by second baseman Eric Grimm in the first inning, shortstop Grant Psomas in the second inning and center fielder Jarod Rine in the fifth inning. WVU also got an RBI-single from third baseman Tim McCabe in the fifth.

Grimm gave the Mountaineers' a 6-0 lead with a two-run double in the sixth inning. WVU added another run in the seventh and three more in the ninth. Grimm finished with three hits, as did McCabe. Grimm drove in three runs, while Psomas and Rine knocked in two apiece.

Freshman left-hander Andrew Wells (Alexandria, Va.) started on the mound for Tech and finished the year 4-4 with the loss. Wells pitched 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits. Relievers Scott Stoehr (Timberville, Va.) and Matt Dalton (Monroeville, Pa.) were touched for three runs each.

The Hokies were eliminated in two games for the first time in their three seasons in the BIG EAST and for the first time in a conference tournament since they suffered back-to-back losses to open the 1993 Metro Conference tourney in Richmond, Va.

Tech finished with 30 or more wins for the 21st time in Hartman's 25 seasons in Blacksburg.