Virginia Tech Thwarts Late Virginia Rally, Wins 9-8
BLACKSBURG, Va. No. 10 Virginia scored five runs to trim a six-run deficit to one but fell just short in a 9-8 loss at Virginia Tech Friday evening. UVa suffered its second straight one-run loss in the series and its eighth one-run defeat this season in ACC play.
Tyler Cannon (Jr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) notched his second five-hit game of the season, including three doubles. His first three hits were doubles and came from the right side of the plate. He later hit left-handed and picked up two singles. John Hicks (Fr., Sandy Hook, Va.), Danny Hultzen (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) and Jarrett Parker (So., Stafford, Va.) each had a pair of hits. Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) reached base three times via walks but had his 10-game hitting streak snapped.
Virginia committed three costly errors which led to two unearned runs and also left 13 runners on base. Klint Reed had four hits for the Hokies, while Austin Wates added three.
UVa starting pitcher Andrew Carraway (Sr., Marietta, Ga.) tossed 2.1 innings, giving up five runs (four earned), eight hits and one walk while striking out four. He suffered his first defeat of 2009 and fell to 5-1 with the defeat. Robert Poutier (Sr., Yorktown, Va.) fired 4.2 innings out of the bullpen and struck out eight while saving the UVa bullpen from extended work.
Virginia Tech starting pitcher Justin Wright (7-2) threw 5.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned), nine hits and three walks while fanning four. Ben Rowen pitched the last 1.1 innings and walked the tightrope in the ninth inning to earn his fourth save.
Trailing 9-6 entering the ninth inning, UVa loaded the bases with none out. John Barr (So., Ivyland, Pa.) struck out and Parker popped out to leave the Cavaliers with two out. Cannon hit a single to left to score two runs, but Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester, Pa.) hit a long fly ball to center field to end the threat and game.
Virginia Tech (32-20, 12-16 ACC) jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. The first four batters reached base, with Wates finishing that stretch by hitting a two-run single to score Reed and Steve Bumbry. Carraway rebounded to strike out the next two hitters before Michael Seaborn blooped a single to right to score Anthony Sosnoskie.
The Hokies added on in the second inning. Tony Balisteri led off with a double to left field. Reed then bunted for a single, and the throw to first from third baseman Steven Proscia (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) sailed down the first-base line for an error to allow Balisteri to score and Reed to move to second. One out later, Sosnoskie singled through the drawn-in infield to plate Reed.
Virginia (38-12-1, 15-11-1) chipped away at the lead with a trio of fourth-inning runs to close within 5-3. Cannon led off with a double to left. He scored when Gosselin ripped a 3-2 pitch up the middle.
After a double play erased the baserunner, Proscia and Hicks hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive pitches to bring the Cavaliers to within two. It was Proscia’s eighth home run and Hicks’ sixth and marked the first Virginia back-to-back home runs since David Adams and Brandon Guyer pulled the trick on March 26, 2006 vs. Wake Forest.
The Hokies responded with four in their half of the fourth. With one out, Sosnoskie hit a sacrifice fly to center. Two batters later, Mike Kaminski hit a 0-2 pitch to center to score two runs. Shaban then hit a grounder that first baseman Jared King (Fr., Radford, Va.) booted to plate another run and give Virginia Tech a 9-3 lead.
Virginia sliced two runs off in the sixth inning, getting a two-out RBI single from Parker. On the play, Reed let the ball roll past his glove in left field, allowing Hultzen to score from first base.
In the eighth inning, the Cavaliers added a run, as Parker singled with one out, stole second and scored on a Cannon single to right field.
The Cavaliers look to avoid their first series sweep of 2009 at 1 p.m. Saturday when the teams play the final game of the regular season.