April 18, 2010

Courtesy of Virginia

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The 20th-ranked Virginia Tech baseball team scored five runs in the top of the ninth inning to rally from a two-run deficit and complete an 8-5 comeback win over No. 1 Virginia on Sunday afternoon at Davenport Field.

It was the Hokies' third win over a No. 1 team in the past five seasons, following a 7-6 defeat of No. 1 Miami in 2008 and an 11-2 victory over No. 1 Florida State in 2006. The Hokies are now 5-4 against top-10 teams over the past three weekends.

Down by two entering the final frame, the Hokies (25-13, 9-9 ACC) drew three consecutive one-out walks from Virginia (29-9, 12-6 ACC) closer Kevin Arico, who had only walked four batters all season. After Arico was replaced by Tyler Wilson and a strikeout left the Hokies down to their final out, Sean Ryan drew Tech's fourth walk of the frame to force home Ronnie Shaban and pull the Hokies within one.

Buddy Sosnoskie followed with the biggest hit of his career, fighting off the third strike with four foul balls before smashing a double off the left-field wall to clear the bases and put Tech up 7-5. Steve Domecus quickly provided an insurance run with a single just past the reach of Virginia shortstop Tyler Cannon to score Sosnoskie and set the final score.

Tech reliever Ben Rowen, who came to the mound for the final out of the seventh inning, retired the Cavaliers in the ninth to seal the victory and improve his record to 3-1. He struck out two and allowed two singles in his 2.1 innings of work. Hokie starter Jesse Hahn surrendered a career-high five earned runs on seven hits and three walks in his 6.1 innings on the bump, but he also tied a career high by striking out 10 batters to keep Tech in the game.

Arico was tagged with the loss for Virginia, marking his first decision of the season. He had entered the game as the nation's leader in saves with 12.

The Cavaliers jumped out an early 3-0 lead in their first at-bat of the game, with Jarrett Parker singling home Keith Werman, and Cannon doubling in both Dan Grovatt and Parker. Werman and Grovatt had each walked with one out.

The Hokies got on the board in the top of the third when Ryan's groundout to short enabled Michael Seaborn, who had led off the frame with Tech's first hit, to touch home.

Tech picked up two more runs in the third inning to even the game at three. After Austin Wates was hit by a pitch and reached second on a groundout by Tim Smalling, Shaban ripped a single through the right side to score Wates. Following a base hit by Seaborn that put Shaban on second, Matt Blow sent a single of his own up the middle to plate Shaban.

Virginia reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Parker led off with a solo home run to left field, and tacked on another run in the seventh to make it 5-3 when Phil Gosselin scored on an RBI sacrifice bunt by Grovatt.

The Hokies are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday with a non-conference game at Radford, with first pitch set for 3:30 p.m.