SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Virginia Tech scored 21 runs on 18 hits and starting pitcher Rhett Ballard struck out nine as the Hokies defeated UNC Asheville 21-4 in both teams' season opener at the Courtyard by Marriott Classic hosted by USC Upstate.
The Bulldogs (0-1) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Leadoff hitter Kevin Weidenbacher took first base after he was hit by a pitch from Ballard. Reed Kreiser advanced Weidenbacher to second base with a single. Weidenbacher scored the game's first run on a RBI single by Beau Zinman.
Virginia Tech (1-0) didn't get on the board until the third inning. With the bases loaded, Anthony Sosnoskie singled off of Michael Bogaert to drive in Buddy Sosnoskie. An error by first baseman Justin Schumer allowed the Hokies' Steve Domecus and Austin Wates to cross home plate and give Virginia Tech a 3-1 lead.
The Hokies exploded for six runs in the bottom of the fourth. Sean Ryan made the score 4-1 with a RBI double down the left field line that scored Steve Bumbry. Boegart loaded the bases after hitting Domescus and walked in the Hokies' fifth run as he hit the following batter. Tyler Hohman put the Hokies ahead by seven with a three-run double that prompted Asheville head coach Willie Stewart to replace Bogaert with sophomore Jeremy Hall. The Hokies tacked on another run as Michael Seaborn drove in Hohman with a single to left field.
Asheville scored two runs in the top of the fifth. Weidenbacher crossed home for the second time in the game and Schumer advanced to third on a wild pitch from Ballard. Mike Vaughn plated Schumer with a single up the middle of the infield.
The Hokies answered back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth. Domecus made the score 12-3 with a two-run homer off of Hall. With runners on first and third, Hunter Bacot came into the game to relieve Hall. An error by Cody Buch at third base allowed Wates to reach home. Bacot loaded the bases with a walk and then walked the next two batters to give the Hokies a 14-3 lead.
The Bulldogs went hitless and scoreless in the sixth and seventh. In the bottom of the sixth, Matt Dalby had a solid pitching peformance for the Bulldogs as he kept the Hokies off of the board.
Virginia Tech extended its lead to 14 after scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Marc Zecchino scored from third after a single by Mike Kaminski off of Dan Weller. An error by leftfielder Beau Zinman on Zaminski's hit allowed Michael Seaborn to score as well. With one out and the bases loaded, Tony Balisteri hit a RBI single to give the Hokies a 17-3 lead. The Hokies took a 18-3 lead after Kaminski scored from third on a fielder's choice.
In the top of the eighth inning, Danny Baatz drove in Austin Graham for the Bulldogs' fourth run.
Virginia Tech scored three runs on three hits in the bottom of the eighth to give the Hokies a 21-4 advantage.
Asheville returns to action Saturday as it faces George Mason in a doubleheader at Harley Park. The first game will start at 10 a.m.
Virginia Tech plays its second game of the Courtyard by Marriott Classic Saturday at 1 p.m. against Wofford.