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Merch Madness
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:04/08/2009
Courtesy: JMUSports.com

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 8, 2009 – Virginia Tech scored 11 unanswered runs to turn a 9-2 deficit into a 13-9 victory over James Madison in a non-conference baseball game on Wednesday evening at English Field.


VT improved to 18-12 on the season and swept the season series between the teams for the first time since 1993.  JMU dropped to 17-16.


JMU built a 9-2 lead after three and a half innings and still held that advantage going into the bottom of the sixth when the Hokies struck for four runs.  They added three in the seventh to tie the score and then put the game away with another four runs in the eighth.


Sean McDermott earned the win in relief for the Hokies with 2 2/3 no-hit innings and three strikeouts.  JMU did all of its damage against starter Marc Zecchino, who allowed nine runs, eight earned, on 10 hits in four innings.


The loss went to senior Justin Wood (Dayton, Va./Turner Ashby), who allowed six runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings.  The loss spoiled a strong start by sophomore left-hander Alex Valadja (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Catholic), who allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits with five strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. 


Right fielder Mike Kaminski drove in four runs with a single, triple, and scored three times.  Left fielder Klint Reed was 3-for-4 with a double, two runs, and two RBIs.  Catcher Steve Domecus and second baseman Michael Seaborn each had two hits, a walk, and an RBI.  Ronnie Shaban drove in three on a bases-loaded double to break the game open in the eighth.


JMU was led by redshirt junior center fielder Matt Townsend (Lorton, Va./Hayfield), who was 3-for-5 with two home runs, three runs, and three RBIs while extending his hitting streak to 23 games.  Junior left fielder Matt Browning (Mystic, Conn./Fitch) was also 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a run, and an RBI.  Redshirt sophomore first baseman Trevor Knight (Charlottesville, Va./St. Anne’s-Belfield) hit a two-run homer in the first and scored twice.  Junior second baseman Mike Fabiaschi (Torrington, Conn./Torrington) drove in two with a pair of singles.


Townsend led off the first inning by lining the second pitch just inside the first base line to extend his hitting streak.  Knight then smashed his third homer in the last two days to left center for a quick 2-0 lead.


Tech loaded the bases in the bottom of the first with no outs on a single, walk, and hit batter.  After a foul popup, Kaminski singled through the left side to knot the score at 2-2.


Townsend put the Dukes back in front in the third with a solo shot blasted to left, his 12th.  Sophomore shortstop David Herbek (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) was hit by a pitch and Browning hit his 15th double of the season to right to put two runners in scoring position.  Fabiaschi then singled to left center to drive in both for a 5-2 lead.


In the fourth, junior third baseman Kent Burford (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) reached on a bunt single and stole second.  He came around to score on the second home run in as many at bats and third in two days by Townsend, a blast to straightaway center.  The Dukes kept up the onslaught with Knight reaching on an error, moving to second on a failed pickoff, and scoring on an RBI double down the left field line by Herbek for an 8-2 lead.  Browning then smashed a double to the wall in center to drive in Herbek for a 9-2 advantage.


Valadja cruised until the fifth with the only base runner to reach on a walk over a span of 12 batters with that runner then retired on a double play.  That run ended with a double by pinch hitter Chris Kay, and a single by Reed set up runners on the corners with one out.  Valadja notched one strikeout then loaded the bases with a walk.  However, he came back to strike out first baseman Anthony Sosnoskie looking to escape the jam and preserve the 9-2 lead.


The Hokies loaded the bases again in the sixth on an error, a single and a walk.  Freshman Josh Futter (Columbia, Md./Wilde Lake) entered in relief and promptly walked in a run.  Another run came in on a balk.  Reed then lofted a high double down the line in right that landed just in front of the diving outfielder, Lescanec, to drive in two and make the score 9-6.


In the seventh, VT led off with a single by Domecus and a four-pitch walk by Sosnoskie.  Kaminski then tripled deep to right center to score both and pull the Hokies within a run at 9-8.  An RBI double to left by Seaborn tied the score at 9-9.


Tech kept the onslaught going in the eighth with the leadoff batter hit by a pitch.  Center fielder Bumbry reached on a bunt single and Domecus then drove in the go-ahead run with a single for a 10-9 VT lead.  The Hokies loaded the bases with no outs and Munson recovered to retire a runner at home and a strikeout before Shaban blew the game open with a bases-clearing double to the corner in left for a 13-9 lead.


JMU will return to conference play and finish its five-game road week on Friday at 7 p.m. against VCU at The Diamond in Richmond.

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