HARRISONBURG, Va., March, 25, 2008 – Virginia Tech pounded out 19 hits and limited James Madison's offense with five double plays to record an 18-11 non-conference baseball win on Tuesday afternoon at Long Field/Mauck Stadium.
VT halted a 12-game losing streak to improve to 8-15 overall. JMU lost its third in a row and fourth in its last five games. The Dukes entered the contest with five straight wins over the Hokies and had taken 12 of the last 15 meetings. JMU also had five straight triumphs over Atlantic Coast Conference opponents entering the game.
It was a back-and-forth contest for much of the afternoon as JMU scored the first three runs before VT came back with seven unanswered. The Dukes pulled within two runs at 7-5 after plating two in the bottom of the fifth. Tech pulled away with four in the sixth before JMU came right back with three to make it 11-8. The Hokies added one run in the eighth, but the Dukes came right back with three in the bottom for a 12-11 VT lead. However, any hope of a JMU comeback was squashed with a six-run ninth for the Hokies.
JMU had 26 total base runners in the game, including 15 hits, eight walks, and three hit batters, however five double plays helped the Hokies keep the Dukes at bay. Twin killings ended the first, fourth, sixth, and eighth innings, while a double play in the third inning made the first two outs in the frame.
Redshirt sophomore Rob Waskiewicz (Manchester, Md./Calvert Hall) earned the win after allowing five runs on seven hits in four innings of relief. Sophomore Kyle Cichy (Vineland, N.J./St. Augustine) pitched two scoreless innings for his second save.
Freshman John Mincone (Dix Hills, N.Y./Half Hallow Hills East) took the loss for JMU. Making his third start, he allowed six runs on six hits in three innings. Three relievers combined to allow 12 runs in the final six innings.
Redshirt junior Brett Sellers (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim), one game after having a 16-game hitting streak snapped, set a career high with four hits and had the first multiple home run game of his career. He drove in three runs and scored twice while reclaiming the team lead in home runs with eight.
Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield) had two hits in two plate appearances with an RBI. Freshman McKinnon Langston (Tallahassee, Fla./North Florida Christian) was 2-for-5 with a run and two RBIs. Sophomore Mike Fabiaschi (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch. Redshirt sophomore Steven Caseres (New City, N.Y./St. Joseph Regional) doubled and walked three times.
Sophomore Anthony Sosnoskie (Front Royal, Va./Notre Dame Academy) was 4-for-6 for Tech with three RBIs, two runs, a double, and a home run. Redshirt freshman Michael Seaborn (Atlanta, Ga./Lovett) drove in five runs with a double and a home run. Freshman Austin Wates (Richmond, Va./St. Christopher’s) had three hits, two RBIs, and scored four times. Senior Matt Hacker (Richmond, Va./Tucker) was 3-for-6 with three RBIs and scored twice.
The Dukes loaded the bases in each of the first two innings as VT starter Jake Peeling (Waynesboro, Va./Waynesboro) allowed two hits, five walks, and hit a batter in 1 1/3 innings. However, five runners were stranded as JMU plated just three runs over that stretch, missing an opportunity to grab a large early cushion.
Tech responded with seven unanswered runs with two in the third, four in the fourth, and one in the fifth. The big blows were a two-run double by Sosnoskie in the third and a two-run single by Hacker in the fourth.
JMU got two runs back in the fifth on a RBI double by Langston and a RBI single by Fabiaschi. However, VT responded with another four spot in the sixth, with the big hit this time on a three-run home run to left field by Seaborn.
The Dukes scored three in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run homer by Sellers and a single by Knight.
After Tech posted a single run in the eighth on Sosnoskie’s solo home run, JMU made a strong push to get back in the game. Sellers led off with a home run in his second straight at bat. The Dukes loaded the bases with no outs and got a single from Langston. Garner then hit a sacrifice fly to make it a one run ball game at 12-11. The Dukes still had two runners on base and only one out before Fabiaschi grounded into the fifth and final double play of the day to end the rally.
With the top of the order due up for the Dukes, the Hokies put the game out of reach with a six-run ninth inning.
JMU will be home again Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. for a game against VMI rescheduled from Feb. 27.