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LEXINGTON, Va. – Virginia Tech scored four first-inning runs and then used seven pitchers to help it cruise to an 11-2 victory over VMI Wednesday evening at Gray-Minor Stadium.
Tech (15-16) switched its line-up a little bit, putting Jake Atwell in the lead-off role and he produced three hits and three runs, while normal lead-off man Tony Balisteri was moved to the sixth spot and he had two hits – a two run-home run and a two-run double. VMI (14-14-1) had just Graham Sullivan with two hits, while Sam Roberts produced the team’s only RBI.
The Hokies jumped on VMI starter Travis Thomas (2-1) with back-to-back singles from Atwell and Michael Seaborn to lead off the top of the first inning. While Thomas was striking out the next two batters, Atwell and Seaborn moved into scoring position with a double steal.
Tim Smalling brought them both home with an opposite field double which hit just below the top of the 15-foot VMI wall. Balisteri followed with a two-run home run to left field and Tech took a 4-0 lead.
Tech starter Patrick Scoggin (2-1) worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed just two hits, two walks, no runs and struck out two before the team went to the pen after a one-out single. Eddie Campbell retired the only batter he faced and Manny Martir stranded the runner on third to end the fourth.
In the fifth, Atwell again led off the frame with a single, then stole second and scored on a Seaborn double. Ronnie Shaban followed with a two-run home run, putting the Hokies on top 7-0.
The game was put out of reach when Tech put four more runs on the board in the seventh frame. Andrew Rash plated one, Balisteri brought in two more and Tyler Horan brought in the final run of the game.
Martir worked 2 1/3 scoreless frames with one strikeout, while Sean McDermott (1.0 IP, 2 Ks), Colin O’Keefe (0.2), Brandon Fisher (0.1, 1) and Jake Atwell (1.0, 1) finished the game for the Hokies.
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