March 10, 2009
Hokies use long ball to get back to winning ways
Five home runs help Tech to 15-1 win over Radford
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Virginia Tech (10-4) 10233020415150
Radford (4-7) 001000000190
  • RU Baseball Field - 150

RADFORD, Va. The Virginia Tech baseball team ended a three-game losing streak in hard-hitting fashion on Tuesday afternoon, smashing five home runs on its way to a 15-1 defeat of Radford at RU Baseball Field.

The five homers, which were hit by designated hitter Buddy Sosnoskie, catcher Anthony Sosnoskie, shortstop Tony Balisteri, second baseman Michael Seaborn and center fielder Steve Bumbry, represent the most hit in a single game since Tech joined the ACC prior to the 2005 season.

Tech improved to 10-4 with the victory, and the Hokies have now scored at least 10 runs in nine of their 10 wins this season. Radford, which fell to 4-7 on the year, has now lost nine straight games to the Hokies dating back to 2004.

Tech leadoff hitter Buddy Sosnoskie showed a sign of things to come when he cranked the first pitch of the ballgame to straightaway center field, with the ball carrying over the 400-foot marker for the first home run of his career.

Tech’s lead increased to 3-0 in the top of the third. With right fielder Austin Wates on first after a two-out base hit, Anthony Sosnoskie took a 1-0 pitch the other way to right-center field for his team-leading fourth home run of the season. It was a welcome sight for the elder of the Sosnoskie brothers, as he had endured an 0-for-19 slump before legging out an infield single in Monday’s game against Bryant University.

Radford collected four hits off of Tech starter Josh Wymer in the bottom of the third, but only scored one run before ending the inning with the bases loaded. That run, which proved to be the Highlanders’ last, came courtesy of right fielder Reggie Keen, whose single to left brought home second baseman Brett Mollenhauer.

Tech went back to the power well in the top of the fourth when Balisteri crushed a 1-2 pitch to deep left field to secure three more runs for the Hokies. Balisteri’s first long ball of the season brought home Bumbry and Seaborn, who had reached via a walk and a hit-by-pitch, respectively. The homer provided Balisteri with his 14th, 15th and 16th RBIs in 13 games this season. He tallied just 19 RBIs throughout 42 games as a freshman last year.

The Hokies went up 9-1 with three more tallies in the top of the fifth. After first baseman Marc Zecchino, who was one of four Hokies with two hits on the day, drew a leadoff walk, Seaborn turned in his second home run in as many days, depositing a T.J. Woody pitch deep over the left-field fence. Third baseman Matt Blow followed with a double, and he eventually came around to score on a single by left fielder Steve Domecus.

Zecchino added another pair for Tech in the top of the seventh with a single past a diving Mollenhauer. Balisteri, who had walked, and Wates, who had singled, each scored on the play to make it 11-1 in the Hokies favor.

The Hokies finished things off in the top of the ninth with a grand slam by Bumbry, who hit his third dinger of the season. On base for the round-tripper were Zecchino, Mike Kaminski and Brandon Lower, who recorded the first hit of his collegiate career with a pinch-hit single.

Both benches were emptied in this one, as 42 total players saw action. Redshirt freshmen Matt Shoemaker and Mickey White each made their collegiate debuts with ninth-inning appearances for the Hokies. Each team sent six pitchers to the mound, with freshman reliever Clark Labitan earning the win to improve to 3-1, and Radford starter Cassidy McDaniel taking the loss to fall to 0-1.

The Hokies will return to action this weekend when No. 1 North Carolina comes to town for a three-game ACC series at English Field. First pitch for game one on Friday is set for 3 p.m.

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

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