Charlotte spoils Tech's opener under Hughes
    Hokies blanked 11-0 by 49ers
    February 15, 2007

    KANNAPOLIS, N.C. - UNC Charlotte spoiled Pete Hughes' debut as Virginia Tech's new head baseball coach by scoring 10 runs over a three-inning stretch to hand the Hokies an 11-0 season-opening loss Thursday at Fieldcrest Cannon Stadium in Kannapolis, N.C.

    Charlotte left fielder Brad McElroy gave the 49ers the early lead when he led off the second inning with a solo home run off Tech starting pitcher David Cross (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Two scoreless innings later, Charlotte took control of the game with four runs in the fifth inning and three more in both the sixth and seventh innings.

    A run scoring double by catcher Kris Rochelle and a two-run triple by second baseman Cory Lane highlighted Charlotte's fifth-inning outburst off Tech reliever Casey Herald (Tazewell, Va.). Rochelle added another run-scoring double in the sixth, while designated hitter Chris Taylor and right fielder Spencer Steedley contributed RBI-triples in the sixth and seventh innings, respectively.

    Charlotte's pitching staff stretched their current scoreless innings streak to 21 straight by shutting out the Hokies in an opening game for the first time since 1991 when Tech dropped a 1-0 opening-day decision. That game was also against Charlotte on the road.

    Starter Luke Stahl (1-0) pitched five innings and picked up the win for the 49ers, who are now 4-1 on the season. Charlotte finished the game with 16 hits.

    Cross, who was on a limited pitch count for Tech, worked just two innings but took the loss. He struck out three batters and allowed just the one hit in his brief stint. The Hokies used a total of five pitchers in the game.

    Tech had opportunities to score in the contest, putting runners on base in seven of their nine innings. Senior third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.) reached base in all four of his trips to the plate. Thomas walked in the first inning, singled in both the fourth and sixth innings, and doubled in the eighth. Center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) added two hits in three at bats and stole a pair of bases. Designated hitter Luke Padgett (Lynchburg, Va.) and shortstop Warren Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.) each had a single to account for the rest of Tech's seven hits.

    The Hokies are scheduled to open play in the INN-vitational in Conway, S.C., on Friday at 11 a.m., against Old Dominion. Tech will also face Pittsburgh and host Coastal Carolina during the three-day event.

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