April 23, 2010
ATLANTA – Ronnie Shaban singled home the go-ahead run in the 11th-inning to give 20th-ranked Virginia Tech (27-13, 10-9 ACC) a 3-1 upset victory over No. 3 Georgia Tech (33-6, 15-4 ACC) Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium. Due to inclement weather in the forecast, Saturday’s game has been moved to an 11 a.m. start.
With runners on the corners and just one out in the 11th, Shaban sent a grounder up the middle off of Georgia Tech reliever Taylor Wood that scored the go-ahead run and gave the Hokies a 2-1 lead.
The visiting side added another on a sacrifice fly to right field on the next at-bat for a two-run cushion.
Freshman right-hander Ben McKinney (0-1) was charged with the loss after allowing the two runners to reach base on back-to-back singles before he was replaced by Wood.
“You have to tip your cap to them,” head coach Danny Hall said. “They have some good hitters and they’re a very competitive team. They’ve been in a lot of situations like they were in tonight, this year, and they’re all tough outs. You have to make pitches to get their guys out.”
Virginia Tech’s Ben Rowen (4-1) retired three of the four batters he faced in the bottom half of the inning, en route to his fourth win of the season. Rowen held the Jackets scoreless on just two hits in 3.0 innings of relief.
The other hit came off of the bat of senior Tony Plagman, who tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run to left field in the sixth inning off of Hokies’ starter Justin Wright. It was the 15th home run of the season for Plagman, and an answer to Virginia Tech outfielder Austin Wates’ solo shot to right-center in the top half of the inning.
The two home runs were the only runs allowed by each starter, as neither Deck McGuire nor Virginia Tech’s Wright recorded a decision. McGuire allowed just one run on four hits in 7.0 innings, while Wright allowed one run on three hits in 8.0 innings. Each slinger had eight strikeouts.
McGuire retired 13 of the first 15 batters to start the game, and held the Hokies hitless until one out in the top of the fifth.
Georgia Tech had its leadoff runner on base to start the seventh, eighth and ninth, but was unable to advance runners in any of the innings after two failed sacrifice bunt attempts and a strikeout of freshman Brandon Thomas by Rowen.
“I told the players after the game that I thought all our pitchers pitched well,” Hall added. “It was great to see Deck [McGuire] go out there and have a great outing and even our relief guys came in and did a terrific job. But, in that last inning [the 11th] they get a run in and a sac fly, but it wasn’t like we were walking them and giving them opportunities.”