Tech downs Albany 8-2 in home opener
Redd, O'Brien spark win
February 21, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Pitcher Adam Redd picked off four base runners during three scoreless innings on the mound, and Sean O'Brien belted a key three-run double, to pace Virginia Tech to an 8-2 win in its baseball home opener at English Field on Wednesday.

Redd (Dumfries, Va.) entered the game for starter Rob Whitley (Danville, Va.) in the fourth inning after the freshman right-hander walked the first two men he faced in the inning. Redd promptly picked Albany left fielder Zac Halloran off second base for the first out of the inning. Great Dane first baseman Dave West then greeted Redd with a double that put runners at second and third. West wasn't on base long, however, as Redd picked him off at second before ending the inning with a strikeout.

The senior right-hander went on to pick runners off first base in both the fifth and sixth inning, falling one pickoff short of the school single-game record of five set by Greg Margheim against Liberty in 1990. Redd also picked up the victory, allowing just two hits and striking out three during his three innings of work.

After Whitley got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, Tech took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when designated hitter Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.) smacked a home run to center field. An inning later, Albany (0-2) took advantage of a Tech error to plate two unearned runs in the third.

Albany second baseman Al Barbato led off the top of the third with a double. He moved to third base on a Tech fielding error and scored on a sacrifice fly by catcher Tom Hill. An RBI-single by shortstop Sean Donovan produced the second run of the inning.

Tech (3-2) regained a one-run lead in the bottom of the inning thanks to RBI-singles from center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) and third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.). O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) then put the Hokies in control during the fifth inning.

Clark got Tech's fifth-inning going with a two-out walk. Right fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) followed with a single and Thomas drew a walk to load the bases for O'Brien. The redshirt junior delivered with a two-base hit to left center that cleared the bases and put the Hokies on top 6-3.

Parks added a run-scoring double with two outs in the sixth inning, and scored on a sac fly by Thomas in the eighth to close out the scoring.

Tech's bullpen held the Great Danes scoreless over the final six innings. Sophomore Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.) followed Redd with two scoreless innings of work and junior Randy Buffington (Virginia Beach, Va.) came on to retire all three batters he faced in the ninth inning.

The Hokies got two hits each from Parks, Cueto and second baseman Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va.) on the way to 11 total hits. Thomas and Parks drove in two runs apiece, while O'Brien finished with three RBIs.

Tech is scheduled to begin play Friday in the Homewood Suites Shootout in Charleston, S.C. The Hokies will face The Citadel, UNC Asheville and the University of Minnesota during the three-day event.