April 25, 2010
Hokies claim series from No. 3 Georgia Tech with victory in completion of suspended game
Yellow Jackets win game three to avoid sweep
(20) Virginia Tech (28-13) 04020300110100
(3) Georgia Tech (33-7) 000002001374
  • Chandler Stadium - 1,226

ATLANTA, Ga. The 20th-ranked Virginia Tech baseball team won the front end of an unconventional double-header on Sunday at Russ Chandler Stadium to clinch a series win over third-ranked Georgia Tech.

After Saturday’s affair was halted by rain in the middle of the fourth inning with the Hokies up 6-0, the game was suspended until Sunday at noon, where the Hokies completed what they started with a 10-3 win. Georgia Tech then won a slugfest in the third contest by a score of 14-12.

Following the split, Virginia Tech’s record stands at 28-14 overall and 11-10 in the ACC, while Georgia Tech sits at 34-7 overall and 16-5 in league play. Over the past four weekends, the Hokies have gone 7-5 against top-10 teams, including three series wins.

In the game that began on Saturday, the Hokies took a 4-0 lead in the top of the second thanks to a pair of Yellow Jacket errors, a wild pitch, and a home run from first baseman Ronnie Shaban. After right fielder Austin Wates led off and reached on a throwing error by Georgia Tech shortstop Derek Dietrich, Shaban rocketed his sixth home run down left-field line to make it 2-0 Hokies. Following a single by shortstop Tim Smalling, second baseman Michael Seaborn sacrificed Smalling to second with a bunt, but reached on a throwing error by Yellow Jacket third baseman Matt Skole. Designated hitter Matt Blow then moved Smalling and Seaborn each up a base with a sacrifice bunt of his own, and Smalling scored on an RBI groundout by third baseman Tony Balisteri. Seaborn later scampered home on a wild pitch by Georgia Tech starter Brandon Cumpton.

The Hokies added two more runs in the top of the fourth. After Shaban singled and stole second base, Smalling was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Another sacrifice bunt by Seaborn moved the runners into scoring position, and Shaban came home on an RBI groundout to first by Blow. Balisteri promptly brought home Smalling when he poked a base hit through the right side past two diving Yellow Jackets.

Following the third out of the top of the fourth, the skies darkened and the tarp was pulled as a thunderstorm began.

Following a 23-hour, 40-minute rain delay, the Hokies picked right up where they left off. In the top of the sixth against new Georgia Tech pitcher Buck Farmer, Shaban led off by getting hit by a pitch and moved to third on a double by Smalling. Seaborn followed with a single to left that scored both Shaban and Smalling, and later scored a run of his own on a base hit to left by Balisteri to make it 9-0 in Virginia Tech’s favor. It was the third RBI of the game for Balisteri, which tied a career high.

The Yellow Jackets finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth with a pair runs. Center fielder Jeff Rowland, who had led off with a single and moved to third on a double by Dietrich, scored the first run on a sacrifice fly to center by first baseman Tony Plagman. Dietrich then came home on groundout to short by catcher Cole Leonida.

The Hokies added an insurance run in the top of the ninth when left fielder Buddy Sosnoskie, who had singled and stole second base, came around to score on a double to center field by Wates.

Georgia Tech’s Chase Burnette set the final score in the bottom of the ninth when he tripled and scored on a wild pitch by Hokie reliever Joe Mantiply.

Price and Mantiply combined to strike out 11 Yellow Jackets in the game, with Price fanning eight over seven innings that spanned two days. He scattered six hits and a walk in improving to 5-3 on the season. Together, Price and Mantiply denied the Yellow Jackets a home run, which broke a Georgia Tech streak of homering in 18 straight games.

Cumpton was tagged with his first loss of the season after allowing six runs (three earned) over four innings on Saturday. He had won his previous six decisions.

Balisteri, Shaban, Smalling and Seaborn all had two hits in the game, with Shaban and Smalling scoring three times each.

Virginia Tech continued its hot hitting in the first inning of the second game, stringing together four consecutive hits to begin the game and take a 2-0 lead. After Ryan led off with a double and moved to third when Sosnoskie beat out an infield single, he came home to score on a base hit to left by catcher Steve Domecus. Sosnoskie then touched home on another single to left by Wates.

Georgia Tech went on to score four runs over its next three trips to the plate to take a 4-2 lead after the third inning. Dietrich provided the first run with a solo homer in the first inning, Burnette scored on a groundout by second baseman Jacob Esch in the second inning, and Leonida hit a two-run homer in the third.

Domecus got one of those runs back for the Hokies in the top of the sixth when he led off the frame with his 10th home run of the year to left-center field, but the Yellow Jackets countered with three scores in the bottom of the sixth, including a home run by Burnette, to go up 7-3.

The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 13-3 with a six-run seventh inning that was aided by four doubles, including a three-run two-bagger by Plagman.

Virginia Tech put up a seven-run effort in the top of the eighth inning that was highlighted by a pinch-hit home run by Anthony Sosnoskie. It was his fifth home run of the year, as well as the Hokies’ fifth pinch-hit home run of the year, and it cut Georgia Tech’s advantage to 13-10.

Skole hit the Yellow Jackets’ fourth home run of the game when he sent a solo shot deep to right in bottom of the eighth. The Hokies managed a pair of RBI singles from Seaborn and Balisteri in the top of the ninth, but that was all they could muster as Luke Bard registered his second save of the season.

Marc Zecchino (0-1) took the loss for the Hokies after he allowed two runs in 2.1 innings of relief after entering in the second inning of a 2-2 game. Georgia Tech starter Jed Bradley earned the win to improve to 6-2. He gave up three runs on six hits and two walks through six innings of work.

Balisteri paced the Hokie offense in game two, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs. Domecus, Wates and Shaban all tallied two hits and two runs apiece, while combining for five RBIs.

The Hokies are scheduled to close out their eight-game road trip with a contest at VMI on Tuesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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

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