Whitley tosses Hokies past Radford, 8-3
Freshman earns first career win
April 25, 2007 BLACKSBURG, Va. - With Virginia Tech playing its fifth game in six days and in a pressing need for both a win and innings pitched, freshman Rob Whitley got the call and provided both by guiding the Hokies to an 8-3 win over Radford Wednesday night in non-conference baseball action at English Field. Whitley (Danville, Va.) hadn't pitched since a March 14 start against Marist, when he only lasted one inning after allowing five runs on six hits. Coming into the matchup with the Highlanders, the right-hander owned an ERA of 24.00 in just six innings pitched, but on Wednesday turned in six-plus frames of shutout ball to earn his first career win. He allowed just five hits and one walk, while fanning six batters. The Hokies (18-24) snapped a seven-game losing streak with the victory, and benefited from a balanced offensive attack in which seven different players scored and six players tallied RBIs. Left fielder Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.) and second baseman Nate Clark (Gate City, Va.) each racked up two hits, while catcher Matt Foley (Lansdowne, Va.) contributed two runs and two RBIs to go with his second home run of the season. Radford lost its 12th-straight to drop to 8-29 on the season, and used seven pitchers in the game, with none working more than two innings. Reliever Kyle Starr (1-5) took the loss for the Highlanders, who were led at the plate by a pair of pinch hitters - Brandon Dove and Reggie Keen - who each produced run-scoring hits in the eighth. Catcher Nate Toth and second baseman Josh Eason added two hits apiece. The Hokies got on the scoreboard first in the third inning, but came away with just one run after loading the bases with no outs. Clark led off the frame with a double to left-center, and moved to third after Starr issued back-to-back walks to first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.). After third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.) struck out, designated hitter Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) grounded out to first to drive in Clark. Tech added another run in the fourth due to a two-base error by Highlander first baseman Andrew Cook. Foley hit a grounder to third, but Cook mishandled the throw and Hokies' catcher made it to second. Clark then delivered his second hit in as many innings, stroking a single to plate Foley. The Hokies had a three-run outburst in the fifth to make it 5-0. With one out, Thomas singled and Sosnoskie walked to put two on for shortstop Warren Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.). With the outfield playing shallow, Schaeffer knocked a double over the right fielder's head to plate both runners. Cueto immediately followed with a two-bagger of his own to score Schaeffer. Tech scored for the fourth-straight inning in the sixth to extend its lead by one. After O'Brien walked and moved to second on a wild pitch by Eric Evans, Parks advanced him to third on a hit-and-run single. Thomas followed with a grounder to third to plate O'Brien. The Hokies continued their scoring streak in the seventh with another pair to make it 8-0. Right fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) reached with a walk before Foley sent a two-run shot, his second of the year, over the left-field wall. Radford finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth inning with a three-spot to reach the final score of 8-3. Center fielder Steve Mignogna led off with a walk and moved to second on a Nachion Moore single. Dove promptly delivered a pinch-hit base knock to score Mignogna and send Moore to third. Cook drove in Moore with a sacrifice fly to center before Radford's second pinch hitter of the frame, Keen, laced a single to left. Cueto, however, allowed the ball to get by him and Dove was able to race home for the Highlanders' third run. The Hokies will resume ACC play this weekend with a three-game series at Boston College, with a 2:30 p.m. start on Friday, and 1 p.m. starts on Saturday and Sunday.