McDermott pitches Tech by Binghamton 12-1
Hokies back freshman with 15 hits
March 2, 2008

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Freshman Sean McDermott pitched seven scoreless innings and Virginia Tech posted double-digit runs for the fifth straight game as the Hokies closed out the Hawthorn Suites Invitational with a 12-1 victory over Binghamton on Sunday at English Field.

McDermott, a left-hander from Walpole, Mass., evened his season record at 1-1 by limiting the Bearcats to just three hits over the first seven innings. The Tech freshman allowed just one base runner to advance past first base during his stint on the mound. He struck out four batters and walked two.

The Hokies, now 6-3 on the season, backed McDermott with a 15-hit offensive attack that produced 12 runs. It marks the first time since 1997 that Tech has put together five consecutive games with 10 or more runs. Freshman left fielder Austin Wates (Richmond, Va.) was one of the offensive stars for the Hokies, contributing a 3-for-5 day that included a double, a run batted in, two runs scored and two stolen bases. Senior second baseman Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va.) hit his second homer in as many games, finishing with a pair of runs, hits and RBIs in three at bats.

Designated hitter Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.) led off the four-run second inning for Tech with a first-pitch double that extended his hitting steak to nine games. Third baseman Matt Blow (Richmond, Va.) followed with a base hit to left that plated Cueto, and then moved to second on right fielder Steve Bumbry's walk. Hacker came up next and laid down a bunt, which Binghamton pitcher Zack Groh misplayed, allowing all runners to be safe. Center fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) then grounded into a double play, but Blow came home to score and Bumbry (Cockeysville, Md.) moved to third. Wates followed with an RBI-single before swiping both second and third base on consecutive pitches. The catcher's throw to third sailed into foul ground, enabling the freshman to hop up and scamper home for the frame's final run.

Tech added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, when Hacker led off with a single and Ryan drew a walk. Hacker advanced to third on a wild pitch and Ryan went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wates, and both came home when shortstop Ty Hohman (Tomball, Texas) laced a single to left field.

With Bumbry on first base in the bottom of the fifth via a walk, Hacker drilled a two-run homer - his third of the year, which already ties his career high - to extend the Hokies' lead to 8-0.

The Hokies picked up another three runs in the bottom of the sixth. After Hohman reached first on an error by the Binghamton third baseman, first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) brought him home with an RBI-triple to the right field corner. David Rhoads (Tomball, Texas) came on to pinch hit for Jose Cueto and promptly hit a single to plate O'Brien. After a Blow single advanced Rhoads to second, Bumbry delivered an RBI-single for the inning's third run.

Tech tacked on one last run in the seventh inning when Wates singled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman catcher Chris Kay (Marietta, Ga.).

Binghamton (2-5) finally broke into the scoring column in the eighth when third baseman Ryan James singled off Tech reliever Brandon Fisher (New Castle, Va.), moved to second on a double by right fielder Peter Bregartner and scored as designated hitter Joe Charron grounded out to the second baseman. Junior right-hander Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning for Tech.

The Bearcats finished with just five hits on the day, including two by James. Starting pitcher Zach Groh (1-1) took the loss after allowing eight runs (five earned) over 4.1 innings of work.

Tech is scheduled to resume play on Wednesday at Radford with first pitch set for 2:30 p.m.