Bowers Pitches Tech Past Marshall
Senior hurls Tech's first complete game of the season
April 18, 2006 BLACKSBURG, Va. - Senior Nicky Bowers gave Virginia Tech its first complete-game pitching performance of the season as the Hokies downed Marshall University 9-4 at English Field on Tuesday. Bowers gave up three runs (one earned) in the second inning then tossed six shutout innings before allowing a run in the ninth. The right-hander from Stuart, Va., scattered four hits over the final seven innings after allowing six during the first two frames. He struck out eight batters and did not have a walk in improving his season record to 2-4. Thundering Herd shortstop Aaron Levinson started the second inning by reaching first base on a fielding error by Tech third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.). A single by right fielder Brit Vincent, followed by catcher Tommy Johnson's double, brought Levinson home. Second baseman Matt Helm scored Vincent with a pop-single. After third baseman Adam Frederick sacrificed the runners to second and third, designated hitter Rich Russell singled to score Helm. Tech (15-22) bounced back quickly, chasing Marshall starting pitcher Adam Dobies in the bottom of the second. A one-out triple by freshman DH Luke Padgett (Lynchburg, Va.) and a double off the bat of catcher Matt Foley (Lansdowne, Va.) put the Hokies on the board. Dobies walked left fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) and center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) to load the bases before being replaced by reliever Chris Cummings. Cummings issued a walk to Tech shortstop Warren Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.) to force home Foley. Ryan then scored the tying run as Thomas grounded into a fielder's choice at third base. Cummings walked first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) to load the bases again before striking out Hokie right fielder Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.) to end the inning. Tech took the lead against Marshall reliever Alan Gentry in the fifth inning. Padgett singled with one out and moved to second when Ryan drew a two-out walk. A bunt-single by Parks loaded the bases and Schaeffer followed with a two-run double down the left field line for a 5-3 Tech lead. Padgett gave the Hokies a 7-3 advantage with a two-run double off the center field wall in the sixth inning. Billy Marn (Yorktown, Va.), who replaced Cueto in right field, and Hacker set the table for the freshman DH in that inning with a single and double, respectively. Tech tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly from Foley and an RBI-single by Ryan. After retiring 15 straight batters, Bowers yielded a leadoff single to Vincent in the top of the ninth. Vincent was erased when Johnson hit into a fielder's choice, but Johnson moved to second on a throwing error by Hacker and eventually scored as Adam Ptacek grounded out to first base. Tech finished the game with 10 hits and a season-high 13 bases on balls. Padgett had three hits, three runs and two runs batted in for the Hokies, while Schaeffer finished with three RBIs and Foley with two. Marshall (16-17) also finished with 10 hits in the game. Gentry (0-1) took the pitching loss for the Thundering Herd. The Hokies will face Longwood for the first time since 1987 when they play host to the Lancers on Wednesday night at 7.