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February 28, 2009
Tech completes sweep of Bucknell with 10-7 win on Saturday
Hokies combine for seven runs in eighth and ninth innings

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Down by four after the top of the seventh inning, the Virginia Tech baseball team scored four runs in the home half and three on the bottom of the eighth to register a 10-7 win over Bucknell in a rain-soaked affair on Saturday morning at English Field.

The game began at 10 a.m. in an effort to beat the oncoming weather, and though much of the contest was played under a steady rain, the Hokies battled back late to complete the three-game sweep of Bucknell after winning both games of a doubleheader on Friday night. Tech improved to 8-1 with the victory, while Bucknell slipped to 0-7.

With the game tied at seven heading into the bottom of the eighth, Tech first baseman Marc Zecchino led off the frame with a double before being replaced on second by pinch-runner Sean Ryan (Ashburn, Va.), who had sat out the previous three games with a wrist injury. Two batters later, right fielder Mike Kaminski was hit by a pitch, and Ryan then moved to third on a fly out to center by second baseman Tony Balisteri. After Kaminski stole second, outfielder Klint Reed ripped a double to center to score two runs and put the Hokies on top. Two Bucknell errors allowed Reed to eventually score and provide Tech with an insurance run heading into the ninth.

After entering in the seventh, freshman right-hander Clark Labitan (San Diego, Calif.) closed out the ninth to earn the win and improve his record to 2-1. Bison reliever Russell Seidell (0-1) was tagged with the loss.

Offensively, Kaminski (Ventura, Calif.) went 3-for-3 with three runs scored to pace the Hokies, while Reed (Chesterfield, Va.) and shortstop Ty Hohman (Tomball, Texas) each went 2-for-5 with two RBIs.

Bucknell opened the game’s scoring with an unearned run in the top of the second inning. Bison right fielder Andrew Brouse reached on a Tech fielding error to start the frame. Brouse moved to second on a single by designated hitter Zachary Brown and came home when catcher B.J. LaRosa laced a single up the middle.

The Bison added to their lead in the third when shortstop Ben Allen singled, moved to second on a walk, took third on a fly out and came home on a single to right by first baseman Doug Shribman.

Errors plagued the Hokies in the fourth inning, when a pair of throwing miscues opened the door for three Bucknell runs. Brown reached by virtue of the first error to open the inning. LaRosa followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt that turned into an infield single, moving Brown to second. Left fielder Bob Donato’s sacrifice bunt was then thrown away at first to load the bases. Bison third baseman Bret Sokirka responded with a two-run double and Allen followed with a run-scoring groundout to put the visitors on top 5-0.

Tech got on the board and back in the game with some help from the Bison in the bottom of the fifth. A bunt-single by designated hitter Steve Domecus (Novato, Calif.) got things going for the Hokies. Zecchino (Hazlet, N.J.) followed with a walk, and a one-out single by right fielder Kaminski drove in Domecus. A throwing error by Bucknell’s shortstop allowed both Zecchino and Kaminski to score with two outs to make it 5-3 Bison.

Bucknell upped its lead back to four runs, using two hits, two walks and a two-out Tech throwing error to score twice in the seventh inning. LaRosa produced one of the runs with his third single of the day, while the second run scored when Donato drew a bases-loaded walk from Labitan.

Tech tied the contest at seven with a crucial four-run seventh inning. Kaminski’s third single of the game was followed by a bunt single from Balisteri (Lexington, Va.), and the two executed a double steal to put runners on second and third. Reed then reached on a fielder’s choice that produced no outs to load the bases. Hohman promptly followed with a two-run single to left that plated Kaminski and Balisteri. After Bucknell brought in reliever Russell Seidell, left fielder Austin Wates (Richmond, Va.) reached on the second bunt single of the frame to load the bases. A wild pitch by Seidell brought home Reed, and catcher Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) launched a sacrifice fly to right to plate Hohman and set the stage for the decisive eighth inning.

Tech is scheduled to return to action on Sunday with a home contest at 1 p.m. against Youngstown State. The weather could change that, so stay tuned to hokiesports.com for updates.

For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).

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