Cross pitches Tech to victory
Senior tosses eight scoreless innings
March 4, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. - David Cross took the mound in the second inning and pitched eight shutout innings as Virginia Tech defeated North Carolina A&T by a score of 5-2 at English Field on Sunday. The win gave the Hokies a 2-1 edge in their three-game weekend series with the Aggies and improved the team's season record to 7-4.

North Carolina A&T (2-7) enjoyed a brief lead in the contest when it went up 2-0 in the top of the first inning. Shortstop Nick Mayo walked to lead off the inning and then advanced all the way to third on an errant pickoff throw by Tech starting pitcher Evan Frederickson (Oak Hill, Va.).A single by left fielder Jeremy Jones brought Mayo home with the first run. A pair of balks by Frederickson advanced Jones to third base and he scored on a two-out single by first baseman Kory Kinnear.

Tech got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va.) reached on a single with one out. The junior infielder then stole second base and came home on a two-out single by first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.).

Cross (Scottsdale, Ariz.) took over the pitching duties for the Hokies to start the second inning and allowed just three base runners over the final eight innings. He faced just two batters over the minimum thanks to a double play in the sixth inning. The senior right-hander retired the first 12 batters he faced before walking the leadoff man in the sixth. The only hit Cross allowed was a single by Kinnear in the seventh. He also walked a batter in the ninth. Cross picked up his first win of the year after two losses and struck out a career-high 11 batters.

The Hokies grabbed a 3-2 lead for Cross with a pair of runs in the fourth inning. A leadoff walk to right fielder Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.), followed by shortstop Warren Schaeffer's triple to right field tied the game. Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.) scored on a groundout by third baseman Luke Padgett (Lynchburg, Va.) to put Tech ahead.

The Hokies got a pair of insurance runs in the seventh inning without the benefit of a hit. Hacker drew a lead-off walk in the inning and moved to second when O'Brien was hit by a pitch. Cueto then reached on another walk to load the bases. Schaeffer grounded out to shortstop to bring Hacker home and a balk by Aggies' reliever Jody Calloway allowed O'Brien to score for a 5-2 Tech lead.

Tech out-hit A&T seven to three, with freshman left fielder Steve Bumbry (Cockeysville, Md.) providing two of the hits. Schaeffer finished with two RBIs for the Hokies, while Hacker scored a pair of runs.

Aggies' starting pitcher Nick Rogers went six-plus innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and six walks. Rogers fell to 0-2 on the season with the loss.

Frederickson and Cross combined for 14 strikeouts during the game. North Carolina A&T's first seven outs of the game were all recorded on strikeouts.

Tech is scheduled to start a six-game road stretch with a game against VCU at The Diamond in Richmond on Tuesday at 4 p.m.