Hokies post 7-3 win against Pitt
Wells gets his first pitching victory since 2004
February 17, 2007

CONWAY, S.C. - Senior left-hander Andrew Wells picked up his first pitching victory since 2004 as Virginia Tech rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Pittsburgh 7-3 Saturday on day two of the IMCIHotels.com INN-vitational in Conway, S.C.

Wells, who underwent elbow surgery during the final weeks of the 2004 season, pitched just 16 innings during the Hokies' last two seasons before returning to the mound pain-free during the fall. The 6-4 southpaw from Alexandria, Va., worked six full innings against Pitt, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits. He struck out four batters and walked one in winning for the first time since Apr. 26, 2004 when he picked up a victory against UConn.

Pittsburgh (0-2) greeted Wells on Saturday with a run in each of the first three innings. Panthers' leadoff batter Sean Conley reached on a fielding error in the top of the first and moved to third on a single by shortstop Dan Lopez. Conley scored the unearned run as the Hokies turned a double play.

The Panthers picked up a run in the second inning on an RBI-single by designated hitter Rob Lawler. An inning later, first baseman Seth Button smacked a solo home run to left field.

Wells took control at that point, pitching three scoreless innings. He allowed just one base runner during that stretch. Sophomore Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.) took over in the seventh and pitched two innings of one-hit, scoreless relief. Junior right-hander Randy Buffington (Virginia Beach, Va.) came on in the ninth and struck out the side.

After Button's home run put Pitt up 3-0, Tech (2-1) started a scoring streak of its own. The Hokies cut the lead to 3-2 with runs in the third and fourth innings, and then took the lead with a three-run fifth.

Tech freshman catcher Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) doubled in his first collegiate at bat to lead off the bottom of the third inning. He move to third on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) and scored on a single by senior shortstop Warren Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.). An inning later, right fielder Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.) led off with a single, stole second base, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of freshman left fielder Steve Bumbry (Cockeysville, Md.).

The Hokies used aggressive base running the entire game, and it paid off again in the fifth inning. With one out in the inning, Parks singled and stole second. Schaeffer followed with another RBI-single, and then moved to second with another steal. After first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) was hit by a pitch with two outs, Cueto delivered a two-run double to put Tech ahead.

In the seventh inning, Parks stretched a single into a double and scored another run for the Hokies. Pinch runner Nate Clark (Gate City, Va.) closed out the scoring when he came home on Schaeffer's fourth single of the game.

Schaeffer led Tech's 14-hit attack with a 4-for-5 game that included three runs batted in and one scored. Parks added three hits and two runs scored in four trips to the plate, while Cueto and second baseman Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va.) contributed two hits apiece.

Pittsburgh was held to six hits, including just one over the final six innings. Pitt starting pitcher Paul Nardozzi (0-1) struck out seven men and did not have a walk, but allowed six runs on nine hits during his six innings on the mound.

Tech returns to action on Sunday at 2:30 p.m., against tournament host Coastal Carolina