March 6, 2009
Ten-run eighth fuels 19-4 win for Tech
Hokies win ACC opener over Duke
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Virginia Tech (9-1) 002130010319190
Duke (6-3) 0020000114102
  • Jack Coombs Field - 324

DURHAM, N.C. The Virginia Tech baseball team exploded for 19 runs on 19 hits to defeat Duke 19-4 in the ACC opener for both squads on Friday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.

The Hokies improved to 9-1 (1-0 ACC) with the win, and won their ACC opener for the second time in five tries since joining the league. Duke dropped to 6-3 (0-1 ACC).

A 10-run eighth inning fueled the blowout, and the 19 total runs marked the most runs ever scored by the Hokies in an ACC contest. It was also the largest margin of victory for Tech in an ACC game.

The 19 hits tied a season high for the Hokies, as they also tallied 19 in the 14-10 win over Wofford on Feb. 21. Shortstop Ty Hohman was just one of many offensive stars in this one, as he went 5-for-7 with 6 RBIs to raise his batting average by 65 points to .327. Left fielder Steve Domecus and designated hitter Austin Wates each went 4-for-5 from the plate, with Domecus scoring four runs and Wates driving in three. Leadoff hitter Klint Reed was 3-for-5 with four runs scored, while second baseman Tony Balisteri chipped in with two hits, two RBIs and three runs scored.

Tech starting pitcher Rhett Ballard pitched five full innings to pick up his third win without a loss. He allowed two runs on four hits, walking three batters and striking out one. The Tech bullpen finished out the game with Clark Labitan (San Diego, Calif.), Ben Rowen (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.), Ronnie Shaban (Moseley, Va.) and Kyle Cichy (Vineland, N.J.) all seeing action.

After putting their first two men on base and failing to score in the second inning, the Hokies capitalized on the same situation an inning later. Center fielder Reed (Chesterfield, Va.) got the top of the third inning started for Tech with a double down the right field line. Domecus (Novato, Calif.) was hit by a pitch and then with one out, catcher Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va.) drew a walk to load the bases. Hohman, Tech’s RBI leader with 18 on the season, followed with a two-run single to left to get the Hokies on the scoreboard.

Tech’s lead was short-lived, as the Blue Devils used a pair of two-out singles and some wildness by Ballard (High Point, N.C.) to even the count in the bottom of the inning. Ballard hit nine-hole hitter Ryan McCurdy with one out in the inning and gave up back-to-back singles to Alex Hassan and Jeremy Gould with Gould’s base knock scoring McCurdy. Duke first baseman Nate Freiman and catcher Matt Williams drew consecutive walks to plate Hassan with the tying run.

Reed put the Hokies back on top in the fourth inning with his second double of the game. Right fielder Mike Kaminski (Ventura, Calif.) opened the frame with a single and a stolen base before scoring on Reed’s two-bagger with one out.

Reed was at it again in the fifth. This time, his two-out single drove in Kaminski and sparked a three-run inning. Kaminski walked to start the stanza and Balisteri (Lexington, Va.) reached when he was hit by a pitch. With two outs, Reed drilled a pitch over the second base bag for the first run. After Domecus reached on an infield single, Wates (Richmond, Va.) delivered a two-run single to left field, putting Tech up 6-2.

Tech tacked on 10 runs in the eight, sending 16 men to the plate. The Hokies got six hits in the inning, including a two-run double and a two-run triple from Hohman. Wates also had an RBI-triple.

The Hokies added three more runs in the ninth, while Duke managed a single run in both the eighth and the ninth.

The Hokies and Blue Devils are scheduled to play game two of the series at 2 p.m., on Saturday.

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

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