Hokies use clutch hits for win at Duke
O'Brien, Schaeffer pace 8-4 win
May 13, 2007

DURHAM, N.C. - Virginia Tech used clutch hitting to score all of its runs with two outs in posting an 8-4 win in the final game of its three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Duke on Sunday. Earlier in the day, the Blue Devils scored seven runs in the late innings to take a 7-1 decision in a game that was suspended from Saturday due to weather.

Sunday's split gives the Hokies a 22-28 overall mark on the season and a 6-21 record in ACC play. Duke is 29-21 on the year and 8-19 in conference play.

Tech turned the tide in the seventh inning of the final game. Trailing 2-1, the Hokies looked like they might come up empty-handed in the inning after Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) was thrown out at the plate on a squeeze bunt by catcher Matt Foley (Lansdowne, Va.). Tech continued to battle, however, as Sean O' Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) followed with a two-run double. After Nate Parks (Roanoke, Va.) drew a walk, Bryan Thomas singled home another run and hustled to second on the throw from the outfield. Shortstop Warren Schaeffer (Vandergrift, Pa.) bounced a single through the right side on a 0-2 pitch to score two more runs for a 6-2 Tech lead.

The Hokies continued to put the pressure on with two outs an inning later. Tech put its first two men on base in the eighth on a walk by freshman Steve Bumbry (Cockeysville, Md.) and an infield-single by Ryan. With two outs, O'Brien doubled for the third time in the game to extend the lead to 8-2.

Duke scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth, but managed a total of just four hits in the game Tech starting pitcher Adam Redd (Dumfries, Va.) gave up three hits and two runs in his six innings on the mound. Redd struck out five and walked five in picking up his third win against five losses. Reliever Scott Stoehr worked the final three innings to earn his second save of the year.

The Hokies jumped to a 1-0 lead in the finale on a run-scoring double by Schaeffer in the top of the first. First baseman O'Brien opened the inning with a double and scored on Schaeffer's two-base knock with two outs.

It took the Blue Devils just one pitch to even the score with leadoff batter Jimmy Gallagher depositing Redd's first pitch of the game over the center field fence. The Tech senior right-hander settled down and held Duke hitless until the sixth inning when Nate Freiman gave the Blue Devils a 2-1 lead with another solo homer.

Duke starting pitcher Alexander Hassan also settled down, retiring 15 of the 17 Hokies he faced until running into trouble in the seventh. Hassan (2-5) was charged with four of the runs in the seventh, and six total, while working 6.2 innings.

O'Brien and Schaeffer paced Tech's 13-hit attack with three hits apiece. O'Brien was 3-for-5 with four runs batted in and two runs scored. Schaeffer collected three RBIs with his three hits. Thomas and Ryan added two hits each.

The suspended game, which was delayed nearly two hours by lightning before starting on Saturday, was resumed Sunday with Tech leading 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning.

On Saturday, a sacrifice fly by freshman designated hitter Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) put Tech on top 1-0 in the first inning. Parks and third baseman Thomas (Wilmington, N.Y.) posted back-to-back singles with one out in the inning. Both runners moved up on a double-steal to set the stage for Sosnoskie's run-scoring fly to center.

Tech starting pitcher Andrew Wells (Alexandria, Va.) pitched four shutout innings before the game was suspended due to a second rain and lightning storm. His counterpart Jonathan Anderson also allowed just two hits in his four innings of work for the Blue Devils.

Duke captured the lead in the sixth inning against freshman right-hander Rob Whitley (Danville, Va.), who took the mound for Tech when the game resumed. Consecutive singles by Gallagher, Matt Williams and Freiman loaded the bases for the Blue Devils to start the inning. Third baseman Brett Bartles followed with a two-run double off the center field wall, and two outs later, shortstop Gabriel Saade added a two-run single. Duke picked up a fifth run in the inning on a single by Michael Ghizzoni.

Will Currier, who took the mound for Duke in the top of the fifth, shut Tech out on just two hits over the final five innings, retiring 15 of the 18 batters he faced. Currier struck out four batters and walked one in improving his record to 4-0. Whitley (2-1) took the loss.

Tech returns home to face Charlotte at English Field on Tuesday night at 7.