May 14, 2010
Strong hitting and pitching helps Hokies to 11-3 win over Duke
Ryan and Domecus tally three hits each
Duke (28-23) 000000030372
(15) Virginia Tech (35-15) 10100054X11141
  • English Field - 604

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Junior southpaw Justin Wright turned in another strong pitching performance as No. 15 Virginia Tech opened a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series against Duke University with an 11-3 win at English Field on Friday.

In a game that was much closer than the score, Wright made a 2-0 lead hold up for seven innings until Tech’s bats finally provided some breathing room with a five-run, six-hit bottom of the seventh. The Tech left-hander held the Blue Devils to four hits – all singles – before giving up three runs in the eighth. He pitched 7.2 innings in improving his record to 7-3. Wright allowed three runs on six hits, while striking out three batters and walking two.

The Hokies are now 35-15 overall, posting their most wins in a season since 1999 when they won 42 games. Tech picked up its 15th win in ACC play against 10 losses. Duke is 28-23 on the season and 7-18 in league play following the loss.

Catcher Steve Domecus and right fielder Austin Wates teamed up to get the Hokies on the scoreboard early. Domecus legged out a two-out double in the bottom of the first, and then Wates laced a single to right to drive him in for a 1-0 Tech lead.

Domecus extended the Hokies’ advantage to 2-0 with a run-scoring single in the third. Center fielder Sean Ryan led off the inning with a double and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Buddy Sosnoskie before scoring on Domecus’ second hit of the game.

Another leadoff double finally started a big inning for Tech in the seventh as the Hokies vaulted to a 7-0 lead. Designated hitter Matt Blow’s two-bagger got things started. Blow was sacrificed to third, and following a walk to third baseman Brent Zimmerman, scored on a single by Ryan. The single was the first of five straight for the Hokies. Ryan advanced to third on a single by Sosnoskie and came home when Duke’s left fielder committed an error on the play. Sosnoskie moved to third on a single by Domecus and scored on a wild pitch, while Wates drove in the final run of the inning.

Duke finally got to Wright in the eighth when pinch-hitter Ben Grisz doubled, center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms drew a one-out walk and shortstop Jake Lemmerman smacked his 10th home run of the season.

Tech closed out the scoring with a four-run eighth that included just two hits. Ryan forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk, Sosnoskie contributed a sacrifice fly and first baseman Ronnie Shaban put the finishing touches on with a two-run single.

Ryan and Domecus chipped in three hits apiece as the Hokies finished with 14 hits. Wates, Shaban and second baseman Michael Seaborn had two hits each, while Ryan, Sosnoskie, Wates and Shaban each drove in a pair of runs.

Duke starting pitcher Marcus Stroman held Tech to two runs on six hits before getting caught up in the Hokies’ big seventh inning. Stroman was charged with seven runs on 10 hits over 6.1 innings. The six-game winner suffered just his third loss of the season.

Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 2.

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

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