Pitt hands Tech 12-8 loss
Bumbry, Seaborn homer for Hokies
February 24, 2008

CONWAY, S.C. - Pittsburgh scored runs in each of the first five innings and got a strong performance on the mound from Brian Chrisman to hand Virginia Tech a 12-8 loss Sunday morning in the IMICHotels.com INN-vitational at Watson Stadium.

Tech (1-1) out-hit the Panthers 13-11 in the game, but the pitching of Chrisman and a Pitt running game that produced eight stolen bases were too hard to overcome, especially when the Hokies chipped in six walks, six wild pitches, five hit batters, three errors and two passed balls.

Chrisman allowed five runs (three earned) over his six-inning stint and struck out two men in each of the first four innings on the way to nine total strikeouts. The senior left-hander walked just two batters and pitched around a lead-off triple in the fourth and a one-out double in the fifth without runs scoring.

Veteran lefty Andrew Wells (Alexandria, Va.) started on the mound for Tech, but never showed his trademark control. That, combined with a pair of costly errors and timely hits by the Panthers, led to six runs, only one of which was earned, over the first three innings. Wells was lifted at that point for reliever Kyle Cichy (Vineland, N.J.).

Ironically, in the sixth inning, the first inning in which Pitt failed to score, the Panthers (1-2) loaded the bases with no one out. Tech reliever Dave Zappacosta came on in relief of redshirt freshman transfer Cichy at that point and struck out the first batter he faced. The sophomore southpaw then bounced a pitch in front of the plate that got away from freshman catcher Chris Kay (Marietta, Ga.). Kay pounced on the ball quickly enough to toss it to Zappacosta at the plate and nail a Pitt runner who was attempting to score. Zappacosta returned to the mound and coaxed a ground out to end the inning.

The Hokies weren't as fortunate in the early innings. Pitt took advantage of a Tech fielding error to score three runs on one hit in the top of the first inning. The Panthers loaded the bases on a hit batsman, a walk and an error. With one out third baseman Joe Leonard lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to score the first run. After designated hitter Gary Bucuren was hit by another Wells' pitch, center fielder Jordan Herr laced a two-run single to center.

Tech answered with three runs of its own in the bottom of the inning with a little help from a Pitt error. A lead-off walk to first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and a single by center fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) set the stage for a run-scoring single by left fielder Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.) on a hit-and-run. A one-out Pitt throwing error on a bunt attempt by shortstop Ty Hohman (Tomball, Texas) allowed Ryan to score, and Cueto came home with the tying run on a sacrifice fly by third baseman Michael Seaborn (Atlanta, Ga.).

The Panthers took over from there. Pitt scored a run in the second on a passed ball to break the tie. An inning later catcher Nick Mullins and left field Sean Conley contributed RBI-singles to increase Pitt's lead to 6-3. A three-run fourth inning saw runs score on a double by Bucuren, a double-steal and another single by Mullins. The lead was extended to 11-3 with two more runs in the fifth by virtue of a wild pitch and then a sacrifice fly by second baseman Dan Williams.

Tech didn't brake into the scoring again until the bottom of the sixth inning, when pinch-hitter Austin Wates (Richmond, Va.) singled and came home when left-fielder Steve Bumbry (Cockeysville, Md.) smacked his second homer in as many days over the right field fence.

Pittsburgh plated its final run in the top of the eighth inning, while the Hokies tacked on three more runs over the final two innings. Wates, a Tech freshman playing in his first game, doubled in the bottom of the eight and scored on a two-out single by fellow freshman Kay. A single by Tony Balisteri (Lexington, Va.), another first-year man, preceded a home run to by redshirt freshman transfer Seaborn that finished the scoring.

Seaborn led Tech with a 2-for-4 day that included a triple, double and three runs batted in. Ryan, Kay and Wates joined Seaborn with two hits apiece.

Tech is scheduled to play its second game of the day against host Coastal Carolina at 5 p.m.