Yale Drops Season-Opening Twin Bill at Virginia Tech

Charlie Neil. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
Charlie Neil. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Hokies Outscore Bulldogs 27-5 in Doubleheader Sweep

BLACKSBURG, Va. — The Yale University baseball team was hoping to start the 2012 season on a high note, but Virginia Tech put on a power show to spoil the Bulldogs' season opener.

Virginia Tech used three home runs, a triple and three doubles to pull out a 15-3 win in the opening game of the set and followed that with another offensive display that fueled three big innings in a 12-2 victory in the second game of the doubleheader Saturday at English Field.

In the two games, the Hokies (9-2) combined for 27 runs on 28 hits.

Yale (0-2) held one-run leads in both games, leading 3-2 in the third inning of Game 1, and 1-0 after the first inning of Game 2, but with 11 games already under their belts the Hokies' bats didn't take long to heat up.

In the opener, Virginia Tech used three home runs, a triple and three doubles over the final four innings, outscoring Yale 13-0 in the last five innings to pull out a 15-3 win.

Senior Charlie Neil went 2-for-4 with a run scored to lead the Bulldogs' offense. Freshman David Toups, and sophomores Jacob Hunter and Kevin Fortunato each had a hit and an RBI, with all three of the run-scoring plays coming in a three-run third inning that gave Yale a short-lived 3-2 lead.

The Hokies (8-2) tied the game in the bottom of the third inning on a RBI sacrifice fly by Jake Atwell, and then the fireworks show began. An RBI single by Alex Perez in the fourth inning put Virginia Tech on top for good, and then Atwell belted a solo home run to start the fifth inning and Chad Morgan followed with a two-run homer later in the inning to put the Hokies on top 7-3. Chad Pinder also homered in the sixth inning.

Virginia Tech scored seven more runs, with three coming in the seventh inning and four more in the eighth. In total, the Hokies scored 15 runs on 16 hits, while Yale managed just seven hits in the game.

Freshman Eric Hsieh allowed eight hits over 4⅔ innings to take the loss.

Joe Mantiply scattered five hits over seven innings with six strikeouts to earn the win.

In Game 2, Yale scored its two runs on a pair of RBI hits from Josh Scharff. His RBI double in the first inning gave Yale the short-lived 1-0 lead. In the third inning, he came through again, this time with an RBI single to cut Yale's deficit to 3-2. However, the Bulldogs couldn't muster any more offense against the Hokies' starting pitcher Marc Zecchino, who scattered six hits in six innings.

Chris O'Hare took the loss after allowing all 12 runs on 11 hits in 4⅓ innings.

Virginia Tech scored its runs in three big innings, with three runs coming in the second inning, four more in the third, and a five-run fifth inning closed the scoring.

Kyle Wernicki was the big bat for the Hokies in Game 2. He went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, three runs scored, including a two-run triple that fueled the three-run third inning.

Yale will return to English Field on Sunday and Monday for a nine-inning game on both days before heading to Winter Haven, Fla., to participate in the RussMatt Invitational.

Report filed by Jon Erickson Jr., Yale Sports Publicity