Virginia Tech Comeback Stops No. 21 Georgia Tech, 5-4
The Hokies scored three runs in the ninth inning
March 11, 2007
Jose Cueto and Warren Schaeffer both had RBI singles with two outs in the ninth inning to help Virginia Tech (10-6, 2-1 ACC) to three runs in the frame as the Hokies defeated Georgia Tech (9-8, 1-2 ACC), 5-4, to win the series Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
With one out in the ninth, Matt Foley hit his first home run of the season off Tech closer Matt Wieters to pull the Hokies to within one run at 4-3. After each of the next two batters were hit by pitches, third baseman Bryan Thomas grounded out to the shortstop for the second out of the inning, but Cueto followed with an RBI single to tie the game at 4-4.
Tim Ladd came on to pitch for Georgia Tech and first baseman Sean O'Brien earned a walk off the Yellow Jacket lefty before Wieters was brought back to the mound to face Schaeffer, who earned his first hit of the day on a single through the left side, scoring Adam Redd. Cueto attempted to score from second base on the play, but was stopped at the plate on a throw from left fielder Chris House for the third out of the inning.
After hitting Brad Feltes to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, Virginia Tech reliever Rhett Ballard (3-1) retired the next three Yellow Jackets in order to earn his third win of the season. Ballard tossed the final 2.2 innings for the Hokies, giving up no runs on just one hit while striking out two.
Wieters (1-1) took the loss for the Jackets, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out one.
Yellow Jacket starter Ryan Turner went five innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out four, and Brad Rulon tossed three strong innings out of the bullpen for Tech, allowing no runs on four hits while striking out five.
Georgia Tech took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after Danny Payne walked to lead off the frame, stole second base, and scored on an RBI single by Matt Wieters. The Hokies tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the third when, with two outs, Nate Parks was hit by a pitch, stole both second and third bases, and scored on an RBI single by Bryan Thomas.
Virginia Tech added a run in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Matt Foley, which pushed the score to 2-1.
Patrick Long led off the seventh inning with a single up the middle, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Curtis Dupart, and scored on a double by Tony Plagman to tie the game at 2-2. After Brad Feltes was hit by a pitch, second baseman Matt Hacker booted a hard grounder by Payne, which scored Plagman and chased Hokie starter David Cross from the game. Michael Fisher's sacrifice fly plated Feltes, pushing the score to 4-2 before Virginia Tech reliever Rhett Ballard could get out of the inning.
Cross did not figure into the decision, giving up four hits in 6.1 innings while striking out nine. After surrendering a pair of hits in the first two innings, the Hokie starter retired 13 straight Yellow Jackets before giving up the leadoff hit to Long in the seventh inning. Only two of the four runs that Cross gave up were earned, and he walked just two in the contest.
The Yellow Jackets will take a break from ACC play for a midweek game this week when they travel to Kennesaw State Wednesday afternoon. First pitch will be at 6 p.m., which is a change from previously-published schedules. Live stats will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.