May 20, 2010
No. 12 Tech drops 13-6 decision to No. 26 UNC
Seaborn and Rash homer in losing effort
(12) Virginia Tech (36-17) 0021000306123
(26) North Carolina (34-20) 31031050X13131
  • Boshamer Stadium - 1,235

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Though North Carolina only tallied one more hit than Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels took advantage of a season-high 10 walks allowed by Hokie pitchers en route to a 13-6 victory in the opening contest of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series on Thursday night at Boshamer Stadium.

The loss dropped the 12th-ranked Hokies to 36-17 (16-12 ACC) on the season, while the 26th-ranked Tar Heels improved to 34-20 (12-16 ACC).

Catcher Steve Domecus collected three of the Hokies’ 12 hits, while center fielder Sean Ryan, left fielder Buddy Sosnoskie and second baseman Michael Seaborn each tallied two. Seaborn and pinch-hitter Andrew Rash both hit home runs.

Carolina second baseman Dillon Hazlett led the victors’ 13-hit attack by going 4-for-5 with three runs scored, while right fielder Brian Goodwin and shortstop Ryan Graepel each drove in four runs apiece.

On the mound, Tar Heel starter Matt Harvey improved to 7-3 by throwing 7.1 innings and striking out seven Hokies. He allowed all six runs on 11 hits and two walks. Tech starter Justin Wright took the loss to fall to 7-4.

The Tar Heels got to Wright early, notching a three-run homer in the first inning to take the first lead of the game. After Hazlett registered a one-out single and Goodwin drew a walk, Graepel took a 2-2 pitch over the left-field wall for his sixth round-tripper of the season.

Carolina added a run in the second to increase its advantage to 4-0, with left fielder Ben Bunting scoring on a groundout to short by third baseman Levi Michael. Bunting had led off with a single, moved to second on a base hit by catcher Jacob Stallings, and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Mike Cavasinni.

Tech got on the board in third inning thanks to back-to-back doubles down the left-field line from Sosnoskie and Domecus. After Ryan was hit by a pitch with one out, Sosnoskie sent him to third with his 10th two-bagger of the year. The throw in from Bunting was errant, allowing Ryan to race home for the Hokies’ first run. Domecus quickly followed with his team-leading 23rd double of the season to plate Sosnoskie and cut Carolina’s lead to 4-2. The double moved Domecus into a tie for third on Tech’s all-time single-season doubles list.

The Hokies pulled within one at 4-3 in the top of the fourth when designated hitter Matt Blow lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in shortstop Tim Smalling from third. Smalling had led off the inning with a triple off the right-field wall. It was his fourth three-bagger of the season, tying him with Austin Wates for the team lead.

The Tar Heels regained their four-run lead in the bottom of the fourth with another three-run homer, this one coming off the bat of Goodwin. After Michael was hit with a pitch with one out and Hazlett followed with an infield single, Goodwin drilled his seventh round-tripper of the season to right field, chasing Wright from the game. Wright gave up seven runs, all earned, on six hits and five walks. He struck out three.

Carolina tacked on another run in the fifth, when Hazlett’s sacrifice fly to right field brought home Cavasinni, who had reached on an error and moved to third on a base hit by Michael.

The Tar Heels tallied five more runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach. After Cavasinni led off the frame with a single, he was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Michael. Hazlett promptly followed with a base hit up the middle to plate Cavasinni, and a double to left-center by Goodwin in the next at-bat brought Hazlett all the way around from first. The fourth hit of the inning – a double from Graepel – plated Goodwin, and following a walk to first baseman Jesse Wierzbicki, Bunting delivered the frame’s third double to bring home Graepel. Wierzbicki scored on a passed ball to score the final run of the inning, making it 13-3 in the Tar Heels’ favor.

The Hokies put forth one final effort in the eighth inning, getting a pair of home runs from Seaborn and Rash to score three runs set the final score at 13-6. Seaborn’s homer – his sixth of the year – came after a double by first baseman Ronnie Shaban, while Rash’s solo shot – his fourth homer of the season – served as the Hokies’ sixth pinch-hit homer run of 2010.

The Hokies and Tar Heels will continue the three-game series on Friday at 7 p.m.

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

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