March 5, 2010
Homer-filled third inning lifts Hokies in home opener
Tech tops Long Island 9-2
LIU Brooklyn (1-4) 000100010262
Virginia Tech (5-2) 20500002X9101
  • English Field - 175

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Fueled by three home runs in a five-run fifth inning, the Virginia Tech baseball team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating Long Island University 9-2 on Friday afternoon in the home opener at English Field.

With the win, the Hokies improved to 5-2 on the young season, while the Blackbirds fell to 1-4. Tech is now 17-5 in home openers at English Field since beginning play there in 1989, and has won 10 of its last 13.

Tech opened the scoring early with two runs in the bottom of the first inning. A one-out single to center field by shortstop Tim Smalling got the Hokies going. Smalling moved to second on the play when Blackbirds’ outfielder Sam Sciamarelli bobbled the ball. After Hokie first baseman Austin Wates drew a walk, both runners moved up on a double-steal, setting the stage for a sacrifice fly by left fielder Steve Domecus that scored Smalling with the first run. Catcher Anthony Sosnoskie followed with a single that plated Wates.

Back-to-back home runs led off a big Tech third. After right fielder Mike Kaminski roped his first homer of the season over the left field fence, Smalling took a different approach for his second round-tripper of the year. The junior transfer lined a ball to center past a diving Sciamarelli and circled the bases as the ball rolled all the way to the fence for a homer of the inside-the-park variety. Later in the inning, second baseman Michael Seaborn joined in the fireworks with a three-run homer that extended the lead to 7-0.

Starting pitcher Justin Wright opened the game with three perfect innings for the Hokies before allowing a lead-off double by Gerard Tingos to start the fourth. Tingos advanced to third on a groundout by Sciamarelli and scored on a single by catcher Tyler Jones.

Wright allowed just one additional hit – a single to LIU shortstop Greg DeSantis – over his last three innings of work, improving his record to 2-1. The junior lefty worked seven full innings, allowing a run on three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Reliever Brandon Fisher pitched the eighth inning, allowing a run on three hits, including an RBI-single by Derek Stupski. Submariner Ben Rowen worked the ninth, walking one and striking out one.

Long Island starting pitcher Kenny Cedel was chased after 2 2/3 innings and took his second loss of the season. Chris Franzese was outstanding in 5 1/3 innings of relief for the Blackbirds, holding the Hokies to two eighth-inning runs on four hits.

Smalling, who added a run-scoring single in the eighth inning, led the Hokies with three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs in five trips to the plate. Kaminski doubled and scored in the eighth to finish with two hits and a pair of runs scored. Domecus also finished with two hits and added a second RBI with an eighth-inning single.

Tech and Long Island are scheduled to resume their four-game series at English Field on Saturday with a double-header beginning at 1 p.m.

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

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