Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hokie Baseball Recap: Virginia Tech 9, Richmond 6

Rain delay resurgance leads to late-inning runs, Hokie victory
March 29th, 2006
by Charles R. Barrineau, Senior Staff Writer

The Virginia Tech baseball team squashed the University of Richmond Spiders 9-6 Tuesday evening, ending its three-game losing streak.

"We definitely needed (the win)," said redshirt junior reliever Adam Redd, who picked up the win for the Hokies. "We definitely needed a 'W' today."

It was a critical win for the Hammerin' Hokies coming off a sweep at the hands of Boston College and heading into at three-game conference road series at Wake Forest University beginning Friday.

"I think it's got to help us a lot," said Virginia Tech head coach Chuck Hartman. "Hopefully it's going to give us a little confidence. Another loss, we're already doubting ourselves a little bit, and we'd probably starting doubting ourselves even more. Hopefully a comeback win like this will pick our morale up a little bit."

Once again, the Hokies found themselves down big early on, 5-1. That's what the scoreboard read heading into a 71-minute weather delay in the bottom-half of the sixth inning.

The Hokies went into the weather delay playing like the team that got swept by B.C., but came out of it playing like the team that beat then No.1 Florida State University.

"I think momentum in a game, sometimes, is big. I thought this probably helped us," Hartman said. "I think whoever has the momentum at the time -- that's the one it hurts."

Tech's play picked up somewhat in its half of the sixth when catcher Matt Foley used good eyes to draw a bases loaded walk from Richmond pitcher Josh Horn.

It was evident that the lightning that contributed to delaying the game must have struck the Hokies' bats when Sheldon Adams hit a three-run home run to tie the game. It was his second three-run homer in as many games.

"I was happy this one ended up leading to a win today--it made it a little more worthwhile," Adams said. "Hitting's muscle and memory and it was just one of those where it was in the right spot."

During the eighth, Tech's play continued to be electric, with a two-out rally that yielded four runs.

Third baseman Bryan Thomas began the rally with his two-run single to put the Hokies ahead for good 7-6.

"That was the booster," Hartman said. "That was the shot that lifted us up ... his base hit put us ahead."

The rally continued as second baseman Warren Schaeffer scored on a throwing error and Thomas came home on a wild pitch to put the Hokies up 9-6.

Redd earned his third win in his last four relief appearances, but downplayed attributing his pitching's influence on recording victories.

"It's more the run support," Redd said. "I get in there (and) usually we're down maybe two or three runs and then come back. I try and keep (us) in the game."

Redd allowed no runs in two innings.

"I just think he's pitching well," Hartman said. "He's throwing strikes, and he's getting ground balls and he's striking some people out."

The Hammerin' Hokies return to the Diamond at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Winston-Salem, N.C. where they will take on the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

No comments: