May 28, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Virginia Tech’s Justin Wright recorded a career-high 15 strikeouts in a complete-game performance to lead the 18th-ranked Hokies (37-19) to a 6-2 victory over No. 6 Georgia Tech (44-12) Thursday night at the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at NewBridge Bank Park.
“They jumped on us early, and got a couple of home runs and got us down,” head coach Danny Hall said. “I felt like we were staying in the game, but we had no answer for [Justin] Wright. When we strikeout 15 times, he’s good. He just made it tough on us to put much together. It was Virginia Tech’s night.”
Wright (8-4) scattered two Georgia Tech runs on four hits, and improved to 8-4 on the year after tossing his second career nine-inning complete game. Wright’s career-high 15 strikeouts surpassed his previous high of 10, and were the most for a Virginia Tech pitcher since Ryan Kennedy had 15 against Navy in 2005.
Tech starter Deck McGuire (8-4) held the Hokies to just three hits in a losing effort Thursday, but allowed two of the three to go the distance, and bring in three runs for Virginia Tech. McGuire picked up the loss after yielding four runs on three hits in 6.0 innings. The Richmond, Va. native struck out seven, but walked four and hit two batters.
Two-out home runs by Austin Wates and Michael Seaborn in the first and second inning, respectively, gave Virginia Tech an early 3-0 lead on Georgia Tech Thursday night. Wates’ sent a two-run blast down the right field line before Seaborn ripped one over the wall in left field off of McGuire an inning later.
Wates and Seaborn each drove in two runs on the day to lead Virginia Tech at the plate.
Wright kept the Jackets hitless through the first 2 1/3 innings, until senior Jay Dantzler put Tech on the board with a solo shot to centerfield that cut the lead to 3-1 in the third frame. It was the seventh homer of the season for Dantzler.
The Hokies added another run in the sixth inning, when McGuire walked Seaborn with the bases loaded to make it a 4-1 score.
After scoring a run on a RBI single in the seventh by Ronnie Shaban, Virginia Tech reached its largest lead of the game with when Sean Ryan doubled to left center to bring home Michael Shaban and make it 6-1.
“Late in the game they kept adding runs on us,” Hall added. “I felt like we made it easy for them by walking guys and hitting guys, and then they’d get a hit.”
Tech junior Jeff Rowland closed the scoring for both sides in the eighth, with a leadoff homer to right field. Rowland became the seventh Tech player to reach a double digit home run total this season.
The Jackets return to action against NC State Friday night, with an 8 p.m. start at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C. The game can be heard live on WREK 91.1 FM, or online at RamblinWreck.com. All games of the 2010 ACC Championships are televised live on FS South.