March 21, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Matt Skole recorded a career-high four hits and the Yellow Jackets had a four-run seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough to overcome an early seven-run lead by the Hokies as Virginia Tech (13-7, 2-5 ACC) knocked off No. 3 Georgia Tech (15-2, 5-1 ACC), 9-5, Saturday evening at English Field.
The loss snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Yellow Jackets one night after they were forced to score eight runs over the final two innings to win, 10-9. The Jackets and Hokies will conclude the three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series Sunday at 1 p.m.
Skole went 4-for-5 with a home run – his sixth of the season – and two RBI. He’s gone 6-for-10 with two home runs, six RBI and three runs scored in the first two games of the series against the Hokies.
Anthony Sosnoskie staked the Hokies to a 3-0 lead with a three-run home run in the first before Skole put the Jackets on the scoreboard with a solo home run in the second inning.
An RBI single by Steve Domecus pushed Virginia Tech’s edge back to three runs in the bottom of the third, and the Hokies added four more in the fifth inning to take an 8-1 lead in the game.
Virginia Tech starter Mathew Price (2-1) allowed runners on base in each of the first seven innings, but worked out of jams nearly every time to pick up his second win of the season. The right-hander yielded just one run on seven hits through the first six innings of the game before being chased with the bases loaded in the seventh.
The Jackets scored four unearned runs in the seventh inning, beginning with a two-out RBI single by Skole. After Thomas Nichols walked to load the bases, pinch-hitter Jason Garofalo hit two-run double off the glove of right fielder Austin Wates and Nichols scored on a wild pitch by Hokie reliever Sean McDermott to pull the Jackets to within three runs, 8-5. Georgia Tech loaded the bases again when Jay Dantzler and Jeff Rowland received back-to-back walks, but reliever Dave Zappacosta came on to force a foul out to end the threat.
The Yellow Jackets out-hit the Hokies, 10-7, but stranded 12 men on base in the game, including leaving the bases loaded in both the sixth and seventh innings.
Brandon Fisher faced the minimum through the final two innings of the game to pick up his first save of the season.
Zach Von Tersch (4-1) suffered his first loss of the year, giving up eight runs on six hits while issuing three walks in five innings of work.
Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 3.75 ERA) will take the mound for the Yellow Jackets in the series finale, while Virginia Tech is expected to counter with righty Marc Zecchino (0-1, 4.72 ERA).
Sunday’s game can be viewed on ACC Select (www.accselect.com) and heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org). Live stats for all Tech baseball games are available at Ramblinwreck.com.