Tech tops Liberty, 12-9
Ballard earns sixth win of season
May 1, 2007

Box Score VT 12, Liberty 9
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Ten Virginia Tech hits and seven Liberty errors helped the Hokie baseball team to 12-9 win Tuesday night in non-conference action at English Field. It was the Hokies' second win in their last three contests, and it completed Tech's season sweep over the Flames as Tech won 8-2 in Lynchburg back on March 13.

Only one starter failed to reach base for the Hokies (20-26), who got runs from seven different players along the way to equaling their third-highest run total of the year. Center fielder Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, third baseman Bryan Thomas (Wilmington, N.C.) notched three hits in five at-bats to go with two RBIs, and second baseman Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va.) had a 2-for-4, two-RBI performance.

Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.) pitched six innings in relief for Tech to pick up the win and move to 6-2, while Ryan Page (2-3) was tagged with the loss for Liberty (28-19).

Liberty jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second. An Aaron Grijalva walk was sandwiched by singles from Patrick Gaillard and Phil John, as the Flames loaded the bases with no outs. David Giammaresi delivered a triple to plate all three, and then scored a run of his own on a double by Kenneth Negron.

The Flames extended their margin to six in the third. Garrett Young reached on a bunt single, and advanced to third on a Tim Nanry double. Gaillard singled Young home and moved Nanry to third, where he scored on a Grijalva double-play ball.

The Hokies batted around in the third to score six times - a 2007 season-high for runs in an inning - to tie up the ball game. Designated hitter Luke Padgett (Lynchburg, Va.) singled, and after moving to third via an error on a Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) fielder's choice, scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Hacker. First baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) then plated Ryan with an RBI double, and scored along with Hacker on Parks' two-run triple. After a pitching change, Thomas promptly brought Parks home with a base hit. Thomas moved to third on an Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) ground out, and scored on Liberty's second error of the frame.

Tech took the lead with a two-run fourth. Ryan led off with a bunt single, and moved to second on a Hacker base knock. After O'Brien advanced the runners to second and third with a sac bunt, Parks brought them both home with the Hokies' third base hit of the inning.

Liberty answered right back in the fifth to reclaim the lead, 9-8. After Ballard hit P.K. Keller and Young to start the inning, Nanry plated both with the Flames' second triple of the game, and he was then brought in on a Grijalva single.

The run parade continued in the Hokies' half of the fifth. After shortstop Warren Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.) reached first on an error, he advanced all the way to third on an errant pick-off attempt. Padgett followed with an RBI ground out to tie the game at nine. Hacker then stroked an RBI double after a walk by Ryan to make it 10-9.

Tech scored two runs for the third consecutive inning in the sixth to make it 12-9. After Parks led off the frame with a walk, Thomas doubled him home. Sosnoskie moved Thomas to third with a fly out to right, and Schaeffer brought him in with a sacrifice fly.

The Hokies will not play again until May 9, when they travel to VMI for a 7 p.m. start.