Late sac flies lift Hokies to 5-4 win over Radford
Reed, Wates drive in runs in eighth
April 22, 2008
BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech baseball team pulled out a clutch 5-4 win on Tuesday evening over rival Radford thanks to a pair of eighth-inning sacrifice flies in non-conference action at English Field. Tech (18-23) trailed 4-3 heading into the penultimate frame, but right fielder Klint Reed (Chesterfield, Va.) and second baseman Austin Wates (Richmond, Va.) each recorded their second RBIs of the day to push the Hokies to their seventh win in the past 10 games. In the bottom of the eighth, Radford reliever Shane Pysh, who took the loss to fall to 1-2, issued walks to first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y) and center fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) to begin the inning before being replaced by T.J. Woody. Catcher Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) then dropped down a bunt in an attempt to sacrifice the runners, but O'Brien beat the fielder's choice throw to third and all Hokies were safe. Reed and Wates followed with consecutive sacrifice flies - Reed's to right that scored O'Brien, and Wates' to center that plated Ryan - and the Hokies took a 5-4 lead into the ninth. The Highlanders (16-23) threatened in their last at-bat after a Tyren Rivers base-hit and a Mario Duarte bunt single gave them two runners with one out, but that's when Tech brought in hard-throwing submariner Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.) to close out the game. The redshirt junior got Alex Gregory swinging and Nate Toth to ground out to record his third save, shoring up the Hokies' seventh-straight non-conference win and eighth consecutive win in the series with Radford. Redshirt sophomore Rob Waskiewicz (2-1, Manchester, Md.) earned the victory after tying a career high with five strikeouts in 4.1 innings of relief, while starter David Cross (Scottsdale, Ariz.) pitched a season-high four innings with a season-high five K's. The Hokies got things started in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va.) - making his first appearance since spraining his knee on March 28th at Virginia - singled home Reed to give Tech a 1-0 lead. Reed had reached on a throwing error by the Radford shortstop and moved to second on a wild pitch by Highlander starter Adam Hoyt. Radford answered back with three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to claim a 4-1 advantage. The first tally came on from right fielder Reggie Keen, who, after doubling to lead off the inning, came around to score on a base hit by third baseman Nick Minter. After left fielder Jonathan Spears singled Minter to second and they both advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Nachion Moore, shortstop Ben Toth brought them both home with a double to the right-center field wall. First baseman Alex Gregory scored Radford's run in the next frame from third base on a groundout by Keen. Tech added a pair in the sixth on back-to-back-to-back hits. Sosnoskie got things started with his team-leading 13th double of the year and scored on Reed's second triple of the season. Wates then beat out an infield single that allowed Reed to touch home. The contest was originally scheduled to be played as a neutral-site game at Pulaski's Calfee Park, but field conditions at the historic venue were not suitable for play after thunderstorms in recent days, and the game became a last-minute home game for the Hokies. Tech returns to the field this weekend as it visits Clemson for a three-game ACC series. Friday's game will begin at 7:15 p.m., Saturday's contest is scheduled for 7 p.m., and Sunday's tilt will start at 1 p.m.