April 24, 2010

Courtesy of Virginia Tech

ATLANTA, Ga. - The 20th-ranked Virginia Tech baseball team scored twice in the top of the 11th inning to claim a 3-1 victory over third-ranked Georgia Tech in Atlantic Coast Conference baseball action on Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.

The win improved Virginia Tech to 27-13 overall and 10-9 in the ACC, and also marked the Hokies' sixth win over a top-10 team in the past 10 conference games. Georgia Tech, which entered the game as the league's top offensive team and ranked among the nation's top 10 in six offensive categories, fell to 33-6 overall and 15-4 in the ACC. It was only the Yellow Jackets' second loss at home this season (22-2).

Playing in their first extra-inning game of the year, the Hokies entered the 11th looking break open a game that had been tied at one apiece since the sixth inning. Catcher Steve Domecus got things started with a one-out single to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. Right fielder Austin Wates, who provided Virginia Tech's only run to that point with a solo homer in the sixth, then singled up the middle to send Domecus to third in a successful hit-and-run.

First baseman Ronnie Shaban then followed with the Hokies' third consecutive base hit, ripping a single to center field to score Domecus and put Wates on third. Shortstop Tim Smalling soon provided an insurance run by bringing Wates home on a sacrifice fly to right.

Virginia Tech closer Ben Rowen, who entered in the ninth inning following a fantastic eight-inning performance by starter Justin Wright, closed out his third inning of work in the bottom of the 11th to earn his fourth win of the season against one loss. Rowen tied a career high by throwing three innings, while allowing two hits and a walk and striking out a pair.

Georgia Tech reliever Ben McKinney (0-1) was tagged with the loss, as he allowed the singles to Domecus and Wates before being pulled in favor of Taylor Wood.

Hits were hard to come by until the 11th inning, as Wright and reigning ACC Pitcher of the Year Deck McGuire engaged in a pitcher's duel through most of the game. The first hit of the contest was not recorded until the bottom of the fourth, when Georgia Tech catcher Cole Leonida singled off of Wright, who wound up tossing eight frames of three-hit ball. He allowed just one run and walked three, while striking out eight.

Hokie second baseman Michael Seaborn tallied the first hit off of McGuire in the top of the fifth with a single up the middle. McGuire went seven innings for the Yellow Jackets, allowing one run on four hits, a walk and two hit batsmen. He also fanned eight.

It was Wates who broke the scoreless tie in the top of the sixth when he sent a 1-0 pitch from McGuire over the wall in right-center field to give Virginia Tech a 1-0 lead. It was Wates' fifth home run of the season.

Georgia Tech's Tony Plagman evened the game in the bottom of the sixth when he sent a solo shot of his own to left field on a 3-2 pitch with two outs. It was Plagman's ACC-leading 15th home run of the season.

Wates and Shaban had two hits apiece for the Hokies, while Leonida and third baseman Matt Skole each had two hits for Georgia Tech.

Due to inclement weather in the forecast for the Atlanta area, Saturday's game two between the Hokies and Yellow Jackets has been moved to 11 a.m.