BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Tech Hokies defeated James Madison, 8-4, in non-conference college baseball action Sunday afternoon at English Field. With the win, the Hokies improve to 28-21 while the Dukes fall to 31-16 overall. Tech earned a split in the two-game series.
Michael Seaborn tied a career-high with a four hit day that included a pair of doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Jake Atwell also scored two runs, while Tim Smalling drove in two. Chad Pinder had three hits and an RBI, while Tony Balisteri registered his 18th multi-hit game with a double and RBI single.
JMU got things started in the top of the first inning when Jake Lowery doubled to right and scored on a double to left by Alex Foltz.
Tech answered in the bottom of the first inning when Jake Atwell was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a single and throwing error on a ball hit by Seaborn. Atwell then scored on an infield groundout by Smalling, which allowed Seaborn to advance to third. Seaborn then scored the second run of the inning on a sacrifice fly to center field by left fielder Andrew Rash.
Balisteri led off the bottom of the second inning with a double to the gap in left-center and advanced to third on a single to left by Pinder. Balisteri then scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by third baseman Johnny Morales.
In the bottom of the third inning, Atwell once again led off by being hit by a pitch and then advanced to third on a double to left-center by Seaborn. Atwell scored and Seaborn advanced to third on an RBI single to right by Smalling.
JMU tied the game in the top of the fifth inning. Cole McInturff singled and Johnny Bladel was hit by a pitch and Lowery hit his 21st home run of the season to right field.
Unlike the day before, when the Hokies couldn’t answer the big blast by the Dukes, Tech grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the fifth inning. Seaborn doubled to left and advanced to third on a throwing error. He then scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by JMU reliever Nick Slogik. Tech tacked on another run in the fifth as Shaban scored on a single to right by Balisteri.
The Hokies stretched their lead to 7-4 in the sixth inning. Catcher Chad Morgan led off with a double down the right field line and advanced to third on an infield groundout by Morales. He then scored one out later on a single to right by Seaborn, his fourth hit of the game.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Rash led off with a single and moved to third on a pair of infield groundouts. He then scored on a single to right by Pinder.
Through the first seven innings, the Hokies had their lead-off man on base six times and he came around to score all six times.
Marc Zecchino improved to 5-4 on the season with the win and Joe Parsons earned his first save of the year, pitching four scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Over his last 20+ innings pitched, Parsons has allowed just one earned run. Slogik took the loss for the Dukes, falling to 3-2 on the year.
The Hokies take the mid-week off and return to the field next weekend, as they host ACC action with a series against Clemson at English Field. Friday’s game will begin at 5:30 p.m., while Saturday’s game is at 2 p.m., and Sunday’s game is at 1 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech baseball, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_Baseball).