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Tech sweeps Blue Hose 7-1, 6-5
Blow delivers game-winning hit in 10th inning of game two
May 4, 2008

Box Scores VT 7, PC 1
VT 6, PC 5 (10 innings)
 
BLACKSBURG, Va. - A walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the tenth inning by designated hitter Matt Blow lifted the Virginia Tech baseball team to a 6-5 win in game two of a Sunday afternoon doubleheader at English Field with non-conference foe Presbyterian College.

The Hokies (20-27) also claimed game one by a score of 7-1 behind a stellar performance from starter Rhett Ballard (High Point, N.C.) to complete the sweep and drop the visiting Blue Hose to 12-32.

With game two tied at five heading into the 10th inning, center fielder Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop/third baseman Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va.). After first baseman Sean O'Brien (Chappaqua, N.Y.) was intentionally walked and second baseman Austin Wates (Richmond, Va.) popped out, Blow came to the dish and ended the game with a hit down the left-field line that would have potentially scored two if Ryan's run wasn't the clincher. It capped a 2-for-5, three-RBI performance for Blow (Richmond, Va.), who also had a two-run single in the sixth inning.

The extra-inning win was the Hokies' first this season in three tries, and freshman Jesse Hahn (Groton, Conn.) collected the victory to improve to 3-5 after tossing the final five innings of relief and allowing just one run on three hits. Andrew Cockerham (1-2) took the loss for Presbyterian.

Each team scored one run apiece in the first inning of the second contest. Presbyterian's came from leadoff hitter Cory Lyda, who was hit by a pitch and moved to second when Kyle Craven was also hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt by Casey Carlson, Lyda raced home on an RBI ground out to short by Jared Combs.

Tech's run also came on an RBI ground out. Hacker was the Hokies' second batter and walked before moving to third on a double by O'Brien - his second of the day. Wates then sent a dribbler to second that allowed Hacker to tie up the game at one.

The Hokies committed three errors in the top of the fourth inning that led to three runs for the Blue Hose. Combs and Jesse Harmon both scored on a two-run single by first baseman Steven Henry, while Henry would later touch home on a base knock by catcher Drew Wingo.

Tech evened things up in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of run-producing singles. Hacker led off the frame with a walk and motored to third on a base hit by O'Brien. Wates matched O'Brien with a single of his own to score Hacker, and he and O'Brien moved to second and third, respectively, on a wild pitch by Presbyterian reliever Micah Black. Blow promptly brought them both home with the third straight base knock of the inning to make it 4-4.

The Blue Hose reclaimed the lead in the seventh, however, with one run off of Hahn. Wingo led things off with a single and was sacrificed to second with a bunt from second baseman Robert Anders. After Preston Simpson struck out, Craven laced a single to center to bring home Wingo for PC's fifth run of the contest.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and two strikes on pinch hitter Jose Cueto (Miami, Fla.), the Hokies scored an improbable run without the benefit of a hit to send the game to extra innings. Right fielder Klint Reed (Chesterfield, Va.) had walked prior to Cueto's plate appearance and stole second on Cockerham's two-strike delivery, but Wingo's throw to second sailed into center field and allowed Reed to jump up and head to third. Presbyterian's center fielder was late backing up the play, however, and Reed sped around third and went all the way home to knot the game at five.

Ballard and the Tech bullpen made things easy for the Hokies in the first game. The 6-foot-6 right-handed submariner allowed just one run and struck out a career-high 11 batters over six innings on the mound, pitching four shutout frames before allowing an unearned run in the fifth. He struck out two batters in each of his first five innings of work and gave up just four total hits in improving his record to 3-6.

Relievers Brandon Fisher (New Castle, Va.) and Rob Waskiewicz (Manchester, Md.) combined for three scoreless innings. Fisher allowed one hit and struck out two men over two innings, while Waskiewicz gave up a hit and posted a strike out in the ninth inning.

Tech took control of the first game early on, scoring four runs on six hits during the second inning. Sophomore left fielder Steve Bumbry (Cockeysville, Md.) followed a lead-off single by third baseman Michael Seaborn (Atlanta, Ga.) with his fifth home run of the season to produce the first two runs of the inning. A Sean Ryan double brought home the third run of the inning, while a two-out single from Wates put the Hokies up 4-0.

Presbyterian starting pitcher Ben Dollar experienced some control problems in the third inning, walking three Tech batters, including O'Brien with the bases loaded. Seaborn started the inning by reaching base on a Blue Hose fielding error. A double to right field by Bumbry put runners at second and third before shortstop Tony Balisteri (Lexington, Va.) drew the first walk of the inning. Freshman catcher Chris Kay (Marietta, Ga.) - making just his second start of the season because Anthony Sosnoskie's season was ended after getting hit in the face with a pitch in practice earlier this week - followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing home Seaborn. Ryan (Ashburn, Va.) walked to re-load the bases, and with two outs, Dollar issued a free pass to O'Brien to score Bumbry.

The Blue Hose got on the board in the fifth inning when catcher William Bolchoz led off with a single, reached second on a Tech fielding error, moved to third on a fielder's choice and scored on a two-out single by Carlson. Presbyterian managed just two hits over the final four innings and finished the game with a total of six. Dollar took the loss to fall to 2-4.

A solo home run by Hacker to open the Tech fifth capped the scoring. The Hokies finished the opener with 13 hits, including two each by Bumbry, Ryan, O'Brien and Reed.

The Hokies will finish up final exams before returning to action on Wednesday evening with a 5:30 game against Liberty University at English Field.

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