Justin Wright pitched a complete-game gem in Virginia Tech’s first-ever ACC
Championship baseball game in the current eight-team format, and the 18th-ranked Hokies downed sixth-ranked Georgia Tech
6-2. Wright struck out a career-high 15 in a game that ended after midnight
Thursday. The sixth-seeded Hokies will play #2 seed Clemson Friday at 4:00
Wright’s 15 strikeouts easily eclipsed his previous personal best of 10 in a
single game. He gave up just four hits and walked two. Wright, the second-team
All-ACC pitcher, outpitched Georgia Tech starter Deck McGuire, the first-team
Wright surrendered one run in the third and one in the eighth, both on solo
homers, but was otherwise in control the whole way. The Hokies never trailed the
Virginia Tech got all the runs they would need in the first two innings,
jumping on McGuire for two runs in the first and another in the second. After
the first two VT batters grounded out in the top of the first, catcher Steve
Domecus drew a walk, and cleanup hitter and right fielder Austin Wates homered
to put the Hokies up 2-0.
Second basemen Michael Seaborn added a solo homer in the second inning, and
the Hokies then added runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings, gradually
pulling away from the Yellow Jackets. The final margin of 6-2 could have been
worse for Georgia Tech, but the Hokies failed to take advantage of a
bases-loaded, no-out situation in the fifth. In the fifth, Sean Ryan struck out
swinging with the bases loaded, and Buddy Sosnoskie hit into a double play to
get the Jackets off the hook.
The Hokies came to bat in the top of the sixth with the score tight at 3-1
VT, and with Austin Wates on second and two outs, Georgia Tech’s McGuire fell
apart. McGuire walked three straight Hokies, throwing just one strike in the
process, forcing home another run to make it 4-1. With the bases loaded, Hokie
third baseman Tony Balisteri took a cut at a 3-1 pitch and flied out to end the
Ronnie Shaban singled home Domecus in the seventh for the Hokies, moving the
score to 5-1, and in the eighth inning, Ryan shook off a dismal hitting
performance to that point (three strikeouts) by doubling home Seaborn. That made it 6-1.
Georgia Tech added a solo homer in the bottom of the eighth for the final
margin of 6-2.
The Hokies only had six hits as a team, and no Hokie had more than one hit.
Seaborn and Wates each had two RBI for Virginia Tech.
With the win, the Hokies are one of two teams (NC State is the other) with a
1-0 record in Division B of the tournament. GT and Clemson are both 0-1.
In Division A, all four teams (Virginia, Miami, Florida State, and Boston
College) are 1-1 entering Friday’s action.
Each division plays a round-robin (three games for each team) from Thursday
through Saturday, and then the winners of each division square off in a
championship game Sunday. After playing Clemson today at 4:00, the Hokies will
play seventh-seeded NC State Saturday at 8 p.m.
For complete information on the ACC Baseball Championship, including
matchups, game trackers, and television information (all games are televised),
see the 2010
ACC Baseball Championship Page at theacc.com.