April 18, 2009
Blacksburg, VA –
Sophomore lefthander Justin Wright pitched 8.0 innings of six-hit ball to lead Virginia Tech to a 7-3 win over #18 Clemson in front of a season-high 2,672 fans at English Field on Saturday. The Hokies, who took a 2-0 series lead, improved to 24-12 overall and 9-10 in the ACC. Virginia Tech also upped its overall winning streak to eight games and ACC winning streak to six games, both the longest active streaks in the conference. The Tigers fell to 25-14 overall and 11-9 in ACC play.
Wright (4-1) allowed just six hits, two runs (one earned), and two walks with five strikeouts in 8.0 innings pitched to earn the victory. The 5’9″, 169-pounder from Chesterfield, VA also retired the first 12 batters of the game and threw 119 pitches in all. Tiger starter Justin Sarratt (3-2) suffered the loss, as he yielded five runs on six hits in 2.0 innings pitched.
Virginia Tech wasted little time taking the game’s first lead in the first inning. Klint Reed led off with a double to right-center and Steve Bumbry followed with a two-run homer to center, his ninth long ball of the season.
The Hokies added three runs in the third inning. Ty Hohman led off with a double to left-center. Reed and Bumbry followed with walks to load the bases, then Anthony Sosnoskie lined a single to center to score Hohman. Ryan Hinson entered the game on the mound and induced a 1-2-3 double play on a check swing by Steve Domecus. But Austin Wates came through with a two-out single to right to score Bumbry and Sosnoskie, giving the Hokies a 5-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, Bumbry led off with a hit-by-pitch. Sosnoskie then swung away on a 3-0 pitch and hit a chopper at third-baseman Jason Stolz. However, Stolz lost the ball in the sun and Bumbry advanced to third on the single, while Sosnoskie hustled into second base when the throw went to third. Domecus followed with a sacrifice fly to right-center that plated Bumbry. Wates’ single through the left side advanced Sosnoskie to third, but the Tigers avoided further damage by retiring Wates at second when he tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt and by getting Mike Kaminski to foul out.
In the seventh inning, Addison Johnson led off with a walk and Jeff Schaus followed with an infield single. But the next three Tigers were retired to keep the Hokies up 6-0.
Clemson finally dented the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning when John Nester lined a solo homer to left field, his fourth long ball of the season. Stolz followed with an infield single and went to third on Mike Freeman’s double to left-center. But the Tigers were unable to cut any further into Virginia Tech’s lead, as pinch-hitter Richard Mounced lined out to first and Schaus grounded out to end the frame.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Hohman led off with a walk and advanced to second on Reed’s groundout. Two batters later, Sosnoskie drew a two-out walk and Domecus followed with a double down the left-field line to score Hohman.
In the ninth inning, Ben Paulsen led off with a single to right-center but was erased two batters later on Wilson Boyd’s fielder’s choice. Brad Miller reached on a two-out error and Nester followed with an infield single that scored Boyd from second. Pinch-hitter Chris Epps then doubled off the top of the wall in left to score Miller and advance Nester to third. But with the potential tying run on deck, Freeman grounded out to end the game.
The Hokies, who tallied 13 hits, were led at the plate by Sosnoskie and Domecus, who both went 3-for-4. Hohman, the #9 batter in the lineup, went 2-for-2 with two doubles, two runs, and two of the Hokies’ eight walks in the game.
Nester went 2-for-3 with a homer, two RBIs, and a walk, while Paulsen added two hits for the Tigers, who had eight hits in the game. Clemson also turned a season-high four double plays on defense.
Clemson and Virginia Tech will play the series-finale of the three-game series on Sunday at 11:00 AM. The game was previously scheduled to start at 1:00 PM, but due to the threat of inclement weather, the start time was moved up two hours.
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