BLACKSBURG, Va., May 8, 2011 - Second baseman Michael Seaborn had four hits and broke a 4-4 tie by scoring on a wild pitch in the fifth as Virginia Tech pulled away for an 8-4 win over James Madison in a non-conference baseball game on Sunday afternoon at English Field.
VT improved to 28-21 and JMU dropped to 31-16 as the teams split the two-game weekend series. The Dukes own the all-time series lead at 33-24 and finished the regular season 3-2 against the ACC.
JMU junior catcher Jake Lowery (Midlothian, Va./Cosby), who Saturday set the season record for extra-base hits, added to it with a three-run home run and a double. It was his 21st homer of the season to tie for third in JMU history as well as the 30th of his career. Lowery climbed to a tie for second all-time for total bases (166), tied for fifth for runs (65) and fourth for RBIs with 73, just two shy of the school record.
Seaborn went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Right fielder Chad Pinder was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Shortstop Tim Smalling was 2-for-4 with two RBIs while center fielder Tony Balisteri also had two hits as part of a 14-hit effort for the Hokies.
Starter Marc Zecchino improved to 5-4 for the Hokies after allowing four runs on seven hits in five innings with five strikeouts. Joe Parsons tossed the final four innings while allowing just one hit and earning his first save of the season.
Sophomore Nick Slogik (Strongsville, Ohio/St. Edward) took the loss for the Dukes after allowing two runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. JMU lost despite its pitching staff not issuing a walk for the second time this season, each in the last five games.
JMU got on the board in the first thanks to back-to-back doubles by Lowery and senior center fielder Alex Foltz (Mathias, W.Va./East Hardy).
Tech jumped out to a 4-1 lead through four innings thanks to a Smalling RBI groundout and Andrew Rash sacrifice fly in the first, followed by a Johnny Morales sacrifice fly in the second and a Smalling RBI single in the third.
In the top of the fifth, sophomore outfielders Cole McInturff (Centreville, Va./Westfield) and Johnny Bladel (Ashburn, Va./Stone Bridge) reached via a single and hit batter before Lowery followed with his three-run home run to right to tie the score at 4-4.
The Hokies reclaimed the lead for good quickly as Seaborn doubled to lead off the fifth, moved to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch. A Tony Balisteri RBI single also came in the inning.
Virginia Tech closed its scoring with an RBI single by Seaborn in the sixth and a Pinder RBI single in the seventh.
JMU will now move into its final home week of the season as the Dukes host Longwood Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. in a game originally scheduled for Wednesday. The final home games of the season occur in a weekend series against Towson, one of the hottest teams in the country. The Tigers have won 19 of their last 24 games, including seven of eight in the Colonial Athletic Association, and currently hold fourth place in the conference standings at 14-10. The Dukes are just one game ahead of the Tigers in second place at 15-9.