April 8, 2009
Eleven unanswered runs help Tech to comeback win
Hokies top JMU 13-9
James Madison (17-16) 2034000009131
Virginia Tech (18-12) 20000434X13122
  • English Field - 215

BLACKSBURG, Va. Down 9-2 entering the bottom of the sixth inning, the Virginia Tech baseball team scored 11 unanswered runs over the next three frames to register a 13-9 come-from-behind win over James Madison on Wednesday at English Field.

Tech only had two hits over the first four innings, but as they customarily do, the bats woke up and the Hokies tallied 12 base knocks before the night was through.

“These kids never seem to get credit for it, but all they do is keep battling,” Tech head coach Pete Hughes said. “They never give up and this was a great win because of that.”

The win pushed Tech’s record to 18-12, and the Hokies have now built up a 14-2 non-conference record. James Madison dropped to 17-16.

While the Hokie hitters certainly did their part to lift Tech to a win – left fielder Klint Reed went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, right fielder Mike Kaminski went 2-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBIs, and catcher Steve Domecus and second baseman Michael Seaborn each picked up two hits – a pair of Tech relievers played a big role in the victory.

Sophomores Jesse Hahn and Sean McDermott combined to shut out the Dukes over the final five innings, with McDermott earning the win to move to 3-1. The lefty from Walpole, Mass., tossed 2.2 frames of perfect ball, striking out three in the process. Meanwhile, Hahn, seeing his first action since March 20, threw 2.1 innings, allowing three hits and fanning two.

The game started a little rougher for Tech, with James Madison collecting 10 hits and all nine of their runs – including three home runs one night after hitting a school-record 11 dingers at Mt. St. Mary’s – throughout the first four frames of this one.

Center fielder Matt Townsend led off the game for JMU with a single off the bag at first to extend his hitting streak to 23 games, and first baseman Trevor Knight immediately followed with his third home run in two days to give the Dukes a 2-0 lead after the top of the first.

Tech responded with two of their own in the bottom half of the first to tie it up. Reed got things started with a single up the middle, before center fielder Steve Bumbry walked and Domecus got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two batters later, Kaminski poked a single through the left side to score Reed and Bumbry.

JMU reclaimed the lead in the top of the third with a three-run effort. Townsend led off the frame with a line-drive homer over the left-field wall, and two batters later, shortstop David Herbek was hit by a pitch. Left fielder Matt Browning then moved Herbek to third with a double down the right-field line before second baseman Mike Fabiaschi plated both of them with a base hit to left-center field.

The Dukes added four more runs in the fourth to extend their lead to 9-2. Townsend added his second homer in as many innings, sending a two-run shot to straightaway center field, scoring third baseman Kent Burford in the process. Herbek and Browning also each contributed a run-scoring double.

The Hokies got back into the ballgame with four runs in the bottom of the sixth. After Kaminski reached on a JMU throwing error, he moved second on a single by Seaborn, and to third on a walk by third baseman Ty Hohman. A walk by designated hitter Chris Kay brought Kaminski home and moved Seaborn to third, who later came home on a balk by JMU reliever Josh Futter. Reed promptly followed with a double to right field, allowing Matt Blow, who pinch-ran for Hohman, and Kay to race home and close the gap to 9-6.

Tech completed the comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning, plating three runs to knot the contest at nine apiece. Domecus led off the frame with a single to extend his hitting streak to 23 games before moving to second when first baseman Anthony Sosnoskie drew a walk. Both came around to score when Kaminski laced a triple to right-center field. Seaborn immediately followed with a double down the left-field line to plate Kaminski for the tying tally.

The final blow came the very next inning in the eighth. Reed set the table when he got hit by a pitch, and he moved to second on a bunt single by Bumbry. Domecus followed with another base hit to score Reed, and Sosnoskie drew his second straight walk to load the bases. Kaminski grounded into a fielder’s choice that put out Bumbry at home, but two batters later, shortstop Ronnie Shaban delivered a bases-clearing double – his team-leading 12th of the year – to set the final score at 13-9.

The Hokies are scheduled to return to action with a three-game ACC series at Maryland this weekend. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, 4 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.

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

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