Hokies rally in ninth to take Georgia Tech series
Virginia Tech downs No. 21 Yellow Jackets 5-4
March 11, 2007 ATLANTA, Ga. - Virginia Tech rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth inning and held on for a 5-4 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over No. 21 Georgia Tech at Chandler Stadium on Sunday. The victory gave the Hokies a 2-1 edge in the teams' three-game series in Atlanta. After seeing the host Yellow Jackets rally for three runs and a 4-2 advantage in the bottom of the seventh, the Hokies never gave up in the ninth. A solo home run by catcher Matt Foley (Lansdowne, Va.) pulled Virginia Tech within a run with one out in the ninth. Georgia Tech reliever Matt Wieters then hit center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) and designated hitter Adam Redd (Dumfries, Va.) with pitches. After Wieters got the second out on a grounder that moved the runners up, right fielder Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.) beat out an infield-single as Parks scored the tying run. Reliever Tim Ladd walked Hokie first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and then Wieters returned to the mound from his catcher's spot to face shortstop Warren Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.). Schaeffer slapped a single to left field to score Redd. O'Brien was nailed at the plate on the play to end the inning. Sophomore reliever Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.), who entered the game with one out in the seventh, hit the first batter he faced in the bottom of the ninth, but got outs on a fielder's choice and a popup before striking Wieters out looking to secure his third win against one loss. The game was a pitchers' duel for six innings, with Virginia Tech starter David Cross (Scottsdale, Ariz.) allowing just two hits and one run over the first six innings. Cross ran into trouble in the seventh and finished the game allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits during 6.1 innings of work. Georgia Tech starting pitcher Ryan Turner went five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits. Georgia Tech (9-8; 1-2) took the lead early when lead-off batter Danny Payne walked and then stole second base to open the bottom of the first inning. Payne scored when Wieters, who started the game at catcher, lined a single to right field. The Hokies evened the score in the top of the third. Parks was hit by a pitch with two outs by Turner. Parks then stole second and third bases Redd (Dumfries, Va.) was hit by another Turner pitch. Third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.) followed with a single to score Parks. Virginia Tech (10-6; 2-1) used three singles to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth. O'Brien led off the inning with a single and took second on a two-out single by left fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.). Foley contributed the third single to bring O'Brien home. The Yellow Jackets rally in the seventh started with a lead-off single by second baseman Patrick Long. Long was sacrificed to second base and scored the tying run on a double by first baseman Tony Plagman. Cross hit Jackets' third baseman Brad Feltes with a pitch, then saw a Hokie fielding error allowed Plagman to cross home with the go-ahead run. A sacrifice fly by shortstop Michael Fisher off Ballard made it 4-2 in favor of the hosts. Virginia Tech finished with 14 hits, including a 4-for-4 day by O'Brien. Redd and Foley both finished with two hits. Georgia Tech was limited to five hits. Tech is scheduled to travel to Lynchburg on Tuesday for a game with Liberty University at 3 p.m.