May 15, 2010
Offense carries Hokies to 18-8 win
Tech sets team record for runs scored in ACC home game
Duke (28-24) 2211200008131
(15) Virginia Tech (36-15) 04064022X18192
  • English Field - 958

BLACKSBURG, Va. First baseman Ronnie Shaban drove in six runs and teammate Michael Seaborn posted Virginia Tech’s fourth grand slam of the season as the Hokies won an 18-8 Atlantic Coast Conference slugfest over Duke University at English Field on Saturday. The win insured the 15th-ranked Hokies another ACC series win and improved Tech to 36-15 overall and 16-10 in the conference.

Shaban gave Tech the lead for good with a three-run homer in the fourth inning. He then added a two-run single in the fifth inning and an RBI-single in the seventh. Seaborn’s grand slam tied the game at four in the second inning and gave the junior second baseman five round trippers on the season.

The two teams combined for 32 hits in the contest, with the Hokies accounting for 18. Shaban and catcher Steve Domecus paced Tech with four hits apiece. Shaban finished the day 4-for-5 with three runs scored to go with his six RBIs. Domecus went 4-for-6 with three runs scored and three batted in. Shortstop Tim Smalling was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Seaborn had two hits in five trips with two runs scored and four driven in.

Duke, which is now 28-24 overall and 7-19 in the ACC, posted 13 hits with first baseman Dennis O’Grady leading the way with three.

Shortstop Jake Lemmerman, who produced all of the Duke runs Friday night with a three-run homer in his final at bat, picked up right where he left off when he came to the plate in the first inning on Saturday. Lemmerman followed a one-out double by O’Grady with his 11th round-tripper of the season to give the visitors a 2-0 lead.

The Blue Devils followed the same pattern in the second inning with a one-out single by third baseman Jonathan Foreman preceding a two-run homer off the bat of left fielder Ben Grisz that stretched their advantage to 4-0.

Tech needed just one home run to even the count in the bottom of the second. A walk by Shaban and singles by Smalling and designated hitter Andrew Rash loaded the bases for the Hokies with one out. Seaborn then drove a pitch over the left field fence to tie the game.

Duke used three hits and a Tech error to retake the lead with a run in the third. A double by Jeremy Gould with two outs, followed by a fielding miscue by the Hokies, set up second baseman Marcus Stroman’s RBI single. Will Piwnica-Worms added another run for the Blue Devils in the fourth when he reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second base, moved to third on a throwing error and scored on a balk by Tech pitcher Mathew Price.

The Hokies loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth and went on to score six runs and take a 10-6 lead. A two-run single by Domecus knotted the score and a three-run homer by Shaban put Tech on top. Rash doubled in the final run of the inning.

After Duke posted a pair of runs in the top of the fifth on singles by Piwnica-Worms and Ryan McCurdy, a Blue Devil fielding error opened the door for four Tech runs in the bottom of the frame. The Hokies got an RBI single from right fielder Austin Wates and a two-run single from Shaban before Smalling doubled in the fourth run. Shaban and Smalling each picked up another RBI in the seventh with a single and sacrifice fly, respectively. The Hokies also scored twice in the eighth, with Domecus providing an RBI double and Wates singling home the last run.

Price, who was seeking his eighth pitching victory of the year for the Hokies, was roughed up for six runs and nine hits in just four innings. The junior right-hander turned the pitching duties over to reliever Marc Zecchino to start the fifth and the redshirt sophomore responded with five full innings to pick up the victory, his first against a loss. After giving up a pair of runs on three hits during his first inning of work, Zecchino gave the Hokies four scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, a ninth-inning single. Duke starting pitcher Eric Pfisterer (3-6) took the loss after giving up seven runs in 3.1 innings on the mound.

The final game of the series, which will also be the Hokies’ last scheduled home game of 2010, is set for 1 p.m., on Sunday.

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

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