April 4, 2009
Hokies fall in 10 innings to Wake Forest
Seven home runs highlight 15-14 contest
Wake Forest (17-11) 202110521115202
Virginia Tech (16-12) 301034120014143
  • English Field - 854

BLACKSBURG, Va.The Virginia Tech baseball team pounded out 14 hits with three home runs on Saturday afternoon, but dropped a 15-14 decision in 10 innings to visiting Wake Forest in roller coaster fashion.

There were eight lead changes and three ties in a ballgame that featured a combined 34 hits and seven home runs, and there were only six half-innings in which there were no runs scored over the three-hour, 47-minute contest.

The final blow came in the top of the tenth, when Wake Forest catcher Mike Murray hit a high fly ball to left field that looked to be headed foul. But the swirling wind, which has played a factor in both games of the series, appeared to blow the ball back into fair territory, and it dropped in for a double. Ryan Semeniuk came on to pinch run for Murray, and two batters later, first baseman Tyler Smith sent Semeniuk to third with a single before third baseman Carlos Lopez delivered the game-winning hit to left field.

With the loss, the Hokies fell to 16-12 overall and 3-10 in the ACC, while the Demon Deacons, who have won six in a row, improved to 17-11 overall and 5-9 in league play.

There were many offensive stars this one, and shortstop Ronnie Shaban paced the Hokies with three hits and five RBIs. Designated hitter Mike Kaminski also tallied three hits, while left fielder Steve Domecus went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and four driven in.

For Wake Forest, Murray was unstoppable with five hits and six runs driven in, while Smith, shortstop Shane Kroker, left fielder Weldon Woodall and right fielder Evan Ocheltree all registered three base knocks apiece.

On the mound, redshirt sophomore Brandon Fisher was tagged with the loss after allowing one run in each of the ninth and tenth innings, dropping his record to 0-2. Wake’s Michael Dimock earned the win to improve to 3-1.

The Deacs wasted no time getting started as center fielder Steven Brooks led off with a walk and moved to second on a single to right by shortstop Shane Kroker. Both then came around to score on a double to center field by Murray.

The Hokies answered back one better in their half of the first. Center fielder Steve Bumbry walked with one out before stealing second and then swiping third on ball four of catcher Anthony’s Sosnoskie’s at-bat. Shaban then laced a first-pitch home run to center field, his second round-tripper of the season.

In the top of the third, Wake’s Dustin Hood drew a two-out walk, before Murray unleashed a towering home run to right field to give the Deacs a 4-3 advantage.

The Hokies responded once again in the bottom half, as Domecus doubled with one out to extend his team-high hitting streak to 21 games. Two batters later, Shaban was back at it, ripping a double down the right field line to plate Domecus and knot the game at four runs apiece.

Ocheltree launched a solo shot over the left-center field fence in the top of the fourth to give Wake the lead back, and the Deacons added an unearned run in the fifth to make it 6-4. That one came with Woodall on second after a single and stolen base, and a ball hit to second by Smith. In a bang-bang play at first, Smith beat an erroneous scoop throw to the bag, and Woodall motored around third to score.

The Hokies then staked a one-run lead by putting up a three-spot in the bottom of the fifth. After Bumbry and Domecus led off by singling and walking, respectively, Shaban sent a one-out single to right field to score Bumbry for his career-high fifth RBI. A subsequent single by Kaminski plated Domecus, and an RBI fielder’s choice to third by second baseman Michael Seaborn brought home Shaban.

The Hokies weren’t done, as they added four more runs in the sixth to extend their lead to 11-6. Third baseman Matt Blow led off with a single before racing around to score on a double to center field by right fielder Klint Reed. After Bumbry drew a walk, Domecus stepped to the plate and delivered his fourth home run of the season to left field, recording three RBIs and giving Tech a healthy lead.

It wasn’t healthy enough, however, as Wake Forest put five tallies on the board in the top of the seventh. After Brooks led off with a walk, he advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on a double to left by Kroker. Hood’s fly out to center moved Kroker to third, allowing him to score one batter later when Murray sent a base knock up the middle. After Woodall singled, Smith sent the game’s fifth home run to right field, tying the contest up at 11 apiece.

Tech gained a one-run advantage in the bottom of the seventh by using a pair of sacrifices. After Reed led off with his second two-bagger of the day, Bumbry bunted him to third before Domecus lifted a fly ball to right to bring him home.

The lead changed once again in the eight when Wake Forest used four consecutive one-out singles to plate two runs and make it 13-12. Kroker scored on Murray’s fourth hit of the game, while Hood came around to touch home on Woodall’s third base knock of the contest.

Seaborn gave the Hokies false hopes in the bottom of the eighth when he drove in Kaminski with his fourth home run of the year, giving Tech a short-lived 14-13 lead. That’s because Ocheltree took the first pitch of the ninth and sent it over the right field fence for his second homer of the day and third of the series, tying the game at 14 and sending Tech to its first extra-inning game of the season.

The final contest of the three-game series is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m

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

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