March 22, 2009

Courtesy of Virginia Tech Athletics

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Paired with three RBIs apiece from catcher Anthony Sosnoskie and third baseman Ronnie Shaban, Virginia Tech freshman Mathew Price pitched deep into the seventh inning to lead the Hokie baseball squad to a 9-5 upset of third-ranked Georgia Tech on Saturday night.

It was Disco Night at English Field, and with the Hokies wearing throwback, Houston Astros-circa-1975 jerseys, the right-hander from Marietta, Ga., took an 8-1 lead into the seventh. Though the Yellow Jackets pushed four runs across in that inning, they were all unearned, and Price left the game after 6.2 frames of work and a gutsy 140 pitches. He scattered nine hits and four walks, while striking out five, to earn his second win of the season against one loss. Redshirt sophomore Brandon Fisher tossed scoreless eighth and ninth innings to pick up the first save of his career, lowering his team-leading ERA to 0.66 in the process.

The Hokies (13-7, 2-5 ACC) snapped a five-game conference skid with the win, while putting a halt to Georgia Tech’s (15-2, 5-1) overall 12-game winning streak.

Virginia Tech only needed seven hits to rack up their nine runs, as six of them came on two separate swings of the bats.

The first was a towering moon shot from Sosnoskie in the opening inning. After leadoff hitter Austin Wates singled and center fielder Steve Bumbry drew a walk, the Tech catcher launched his fifth home run deep into the left-field sky to give the Hokies a 3-0 lead.

The two teams traded single runs over the next two innings, with Georgia Tech third baseman Matt Skole hitting a solo shot in the second and Hokie left fielder Steve Domecus – who extended his hitting streak to 13 games – singling home Bumbry in the third.

It was in the fifth that the Hokies broke open the 8-1 lead. With two outs and the bases juiced, Shaban drilled a double off the left-field wall to plate three runs. The freshman from Moseley, Va., advanced to third, and eventually home, on a pair of wild pitches by Yellow Jacket starter Zach Von Tersch, who took the loss to fall to 4-1. Shaban has recorded nine hits in his last four games, raising his average 94 points to .370.

The Yellow Jackets threatened another comeback – they scored six runs in the ninth to win 10-9 on Friday – with a four-run seventh, but reliever Dave Zappacosta coerced Georgia Tech’s Derek Dietrich into a foul pop out with the bases loaded to end the threat.

The Hokies picked up an insurance run – and set the final score – in the eighth when Wates scored from second on a grounder by Sosnoskie that was misplayed by Skole.