Keydets Fall to Virginia Tech, 11-2
Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com  
Release: 04/06/2011
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Courtesy: VMIKeydets.com

LEXINGTON, Va. - The Virginia Tech Hokies scored four runs in the first inning Wednesday and never trailed, en route to an 11-2 win over the VMI Keydets in non-conference baseball action in Lexington, Va.

Virginia Tech (15-16) got a two-out, two-run double from shortstop Tim Smalling in the first, and then Lexington native Tony Balisteri hit his fifth home run of the year, a shot to left-center field off Keydet starter Travis Thomas (2-1). The Hokies would lead by as many as 11 runs before the Keydets scored the last two, accounting for the final margin.

Thomas took the loss for VMI, surrendering four earned runs over 1 1/3 innings. He did retire all four hitters via strikeout, but gave up five hits in the outing. Patrick Scoggin earned the win, moving to 2-1 with 3 1/3 innings of shutout baseball.

The Hokies started the game with back-to-back singles from Jake Atwell and Michael Seaborn. Thomas then struck out the next two hitters before Smalling's double gave VT the lead for good, and Balisteri followed with his long ball, giving the Hokies a 4-0 lead after half an inning.

The Keydets put a runner in scoring position in the second, but could not score. Neither could VT in the third, as Campbell Henkel pitched out of the lone jam he faced in his two scoreless innings.

In the third inning, VMI put together a two-out rally. Sam Roberts walked and Graham Sullivan singled to left, but Scoggin induced George Piccirilli's fly out to left center, ending the inning.

Virginia Tech added to its lead in the fifth, as Atwell singled to lead off the inning. Seaborn then doubled home a run, and Ronnie Shaban followed with a home run to center field, putting the Hokies up 7-0.

That margin would widen in the seventh, when VT scored four times. For the third straight rally, it was Atwell starting things off, and this time he drew a walk. Seaborn reached via error, and one out later, Andrew Rash singled home a run. After a walk, Balisteri drove home two more with an two-run single, and a fielder's choice plated the visitors' final run of the night, making it 11-0, VT.

The Keydets got on the board in the seventh, striking with a two-out rally. Andrew Montague singled to center, and Justin Hess drew a walk. Roberts then singled home Montague, cutting the lead to 11-1. The home team would also score in the eighth, as Berkley Hawkins walked and was bunted to second base. He then advanced on a wild pitch and scored when VT catcher Chad Morgan overthrew third base, accounting for the game's final run and the 11-2 score.

Offensively, Graham Sullivan was the only Keydet with multiple hits, as he went 2 for 4 on the evening. Balisteri went 2 for 5 with four RBI and Atwell was 3 for 4 with three runs scored for the Hokies.

VMI will return to Big South play this weekend, as the Keydets travel to Radford, Va. for the first series in the newly renovated Dedmon Center Park. Game time Friday night is set for 6 p.m.

VMI vs Virginia Tech (April 6, 2011 at Lexington, Va.)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
VT                   400 030 400  - 11 12 1    (15-16)
VMI                 000 000 110 -  2  6  3    (14-14-1)
----------------------------------------------------------------------
VT -.Scoggin; Campbell (4); Martir (4); McDermott (7); O'Keefe (8); Fisher (8); Atwell (9); Morgan and Heelan (9).
VMI - Thomas; Henkel (2); Brown (4); Watts (6); Zarella (7); Devine (7); Deal (9) and Montague.
W- Scoggin (2-1) L - Thomas (2-1) T - 2:45 A - 578


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