March 30, 2010
Tech pitching staff strikes out 16 batters in 11-3 win over No. 29 VMI
Martir fans career-high 10
(29) VMI (20-5) 100011000361
Virginia Tech (17-9) 23200031X11123
  • English Field - 161

BLACKSBURG, Va. Virginia Tech pitchers struck out a season-high 16 batters and the Hokies scored seven runs during the first three innings on the way to an 11-3 non-conference baseball victory over No. 29 Virginia Military Institute at English Field on Tuesday. The win moved Tech to 17-9 on the season, while VMI is now 20-5.

Tech hurlers Manny Martir, Brandon Fisher and Ben Rowen combined to hold VMI to just six hits in the game. Starter Martir posted a career-high 10 strikeouts during six full innings of work. He allowed three runs (one earned) on five hits and walked just one batter, while improving his record to 2-1. Fisher worked two scoreless innings, matching his career-best for strikeouts with five. Rowen closed out the win with a scoreless ninth, allowing a hit and fanning one batter.

Ten Tech batters contributed to the Hokies’ 12-hit night, with center fielder Sean Ryan posting the only multiple-hit outing with three hits in five trips to the plate. Catcher Steve Domecus was joined by brothers Buddy and Anthony Sosnoskie with two runs batted in apiece. Third baseman Tanner Biagini accounted for three of the Keydets’ six base knocks.

A Tech throwing error helped the nationally-ranked visitors post a run in the first inning. With VMI lead-off man Sam Roberts on first via a walk, Jordan Ballard reached on a one-out infield single. The play drew a low throw that bounced away from Tech first baseman Austin Wates, allowing Roberts to advance to third. Left fielder Graham Sullivan then brought Roberts home with a sacrifice fly to center.

VMI returned the favor in the bottom of the inning, committing a fielding miscue that helped the Hokies score two runs on just one hit. Tech loaded the bases in the inning with Ryan reaching on a single, third baseman Ronnie Shaban drawing a walk and Wates being hit by a pitch. Ryan came home as Buddy Sosnoskie reached on a fielding error by VMI starting pitcher Coby Cowgill, then older brother Anthony plated Shaban on a fielder’s choice grounder.

Four consecutive two-out hits staked Tech to a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the second. Back-to-back doubles by Ryan and Shaban produced the first run, and a single by Wates plated the second. Left fielder Buddy Sosnoskie followed with a triple to drive in Wates. An inning later, the Hokies opened with consecutive doubles from Michael Seaborn, Matt Blow and Tony Balisteri to tack on two more runs.

Keydets’ designated hitter George Piccirilli joined the parade of doubles with a two-bagger of his own in the top of the fifth. He moved to second on a groundout and scored VMI’s second run of the game on a wild pitch by Martir. A two-base fielding error on a fly ball by Ballard helped chip another run off the Tech lead in the sixth. Biagini drove in the run with a single.

The Hokies made the most of one hit again in the seventh, plating three runs. Anthony Sosnoskie and Seaborn were both hit by pitches to start the inning. An unsuccessful fielder’s choice allowed Balisteri to reach, loading the bases with one out. Domecus smacked a two-run single and then Balisteri scored on the front end of a double-steal to stretch Tech’s lead to 10-3. Sosnoskie closed out the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth.

Freshman Coby Cowgill, the first of five VMI pitchers, worked just two innings and took the loss. Cowgill is now 3-1 after allowing seven runs, six of which were earned.

Tech is scheduled to open a four-game road stretch Wednesday at 7 p.m., against East Tennessee State at Cardinal Park in Johnson City, Tenn.

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

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