April 10, 2011
Tech wins series at Wake Forest
The Hokies split a doubleheader Sunday to earn the series victory.
Virginia Tech (17-16) 04100320111121
Wake Forest (11-20) 000110000244
  • WF Baseball Park
Virginia Tech (17-17) 0000101013103
Wake Forest (12-20) 000012002590
  • WF Baseball Park - 571

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In its fifth doubleheader of the season, but its first in ACC action, Virginia Tech was able to split the twin billing with Wake Forest – winning the first game, 11-2, but falling in the second game, 5-3 – Sunday afternoon at WF Baseball Park. With the split, the Hokies won the league series.

Tim Smalling collected five hits on the day to lead Tech (17-17, 3-12), while Jake Atwell drove in three and both Gabe Ortiz and Tony Balisteri crossed the plate three times. Wake Forest (12-20, 5-10) was able to get the split thanks to a walk-off Charlie Morgan two-run home run in the second game.

Balisteri’s three-hit – his fifth straight game with at least two hits which raised his average almost 45 points – three-run effort in game one highlighted the Hokie attack, while Michael Seaborn, Smalling and Andrew Rash each had two hits. Ortiz and Rash each scored a pair of runs.

Rash hit a solo home run to lead off the second inning – his 11th of the year – to put Tech on the board and later in the frame, Atwell blasted his first, a three-run shot, which put his team up 4-0.

Tech tacked on an unearned run in the third and then put the game all but away with three in the sixth – Ortiz, Seaborn and Ronnie Shaban all with an RBI – and two unearned runs in the seventh.

However, the four second-inning runs would be all the support Tech starter Marc Zecchino (3-4) would need, as he cruised through the Demon Deacon line-up. He went a total of seven innings, struck out a career-high 12 batters and allowed just four hits, one walk and one earned run.

In his last four outings, Zecchino has increased his strikeout total, starting with seven (in 5.1 IP) against North Carolina, nine (6.0) at Boston College, 11 (5.2) versus Virginia and 12 at Wake Forest, today.

Patrick Scoggin ended the game on the mound for the Hokies pitching two scoreless frames. He walked two, but did not allow a hit, and struck out four, pushing the team’s total to a season-high 16 batters fanned in the contest.

In the second game, each team left the bases loaded in one inning as the team’s entered the fifth scoreless. Tech stranded five men on base through four, the Deacons six.

Atwell hit a one-out triple in the fifth and scored a batter later on Seaborn’s sacrifice fly to put Tech up 1-0.

Wake Forest responded in the bottom of the frame to tie the game at one, then added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 3-1 lead – its first of the series.

Chris Kay cut the Hokie deficit to one in the top of the seventh with a one-out solo home run, his third of the year. Tech was able to tie the game in the top of the ninth, before the walk-off hit, with Ortiz leading off with a double. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kay and scored on pinch hitter Matt Blow’s single.

The Hokies will return to action on Tuesday, when they travel to Radford. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. Their next ACC series starts next Friday against Florida State at English Field.

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

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