JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Virginia Tech pounded out a season-high 20 hits, including 10 for extra bases, and pushed 13 runs across the plate, its third straight game in double figures, to hand the ETSU Buccaneers a 13-6 loss at Cardinal Park Tuesday night.
Virginia Tech (20-19) had six players with at least two hits and four Hokies with at least two RBI, while ETSU (22-13) had four with multi-hit games but only one – Clinton Freeman – had a pair of RBI.
Tony Balisteri led the attack with four hits and scored twice, while Chris Kay had three hits, three RBI, and four runs scored. Jake Atwell had three RBI, Ronnie Shaban had two RBI on three hits, Andrew Rash had three hits, and Johnny Morales and Matt Blow each had a pair of hits.
Forties were wild in the top of the first inning after a one-out triple by Michael Seaborn. Shaban doubled to right field brining in Seaborn for his team-leading 40th run scored of the season, while Shaban notched his team-leading 40th RBI of 2011.
The Hokies added another run in the second thanks to a two-out error by ETSU. Kay reached on shortstop Kerry Doane’s throwing error and Morales followed with a double to center to bring Kay home with an unearned run.
Meanwhile, Tech starter Eddie Campbell was effective for the first two innings, striking out the side in the first and getting out of a two-on, one-out jam with the Hokies’ 36th double play of the year.
ETSU, though, scored four runs on the lefty in the bottom of the third to go on top 4-2.
The Buccaneer lead was short-lived when Tech responded with five in the top of the fourth, which included four straight Hokie hits. Rash started the rally when he launched his team-leading 14th home run of the year to lead off the frame. It was the 12th time in the last 13 games the team has hit a long ball.
Three straight singles by Balisteri, Blow, and Kay plated the second run, Balisteri’s 36th of the year. Blow and Kay then moved into scoring position on Morales’ 12th sacrifice bunt of the year. Atwell followed by extending his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-RBI single, his fifth straight game with an RBI
He then scored for the 10th straight game on another RBI double by Shaban putting Tech up 7-4. Balisteri gave Tech a four-run lead in the top of the seventh with a two-out RBI triple, scoring Rash. They tacked on another run in the eighth on a sac fly from Atwell and scored four in the ninth.
Patrick Scoggin (4-1) took over for Campbell in the fourth and worked three scoreless frames and struck out four. He did walk three batters and allowed two hits, including a lead-off single in the seventh before Sean McDermott was called in from the pen.
He faced just one batter, getting a foul out to second, and then Manny Martir got the final two outs of the seventh on a liner to third and a foul out to Morales. He finished the game throwing 2 2/3 innings and striking out one.
Tech will stay on the road when it plays its next ACC series, a three-game set at Maryland starting Friday at 7 p.m.
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