Bucknell Baseball Season Comes to a Close with 16-7 Loss to Virginia Tech at NCAA Regionals
June 5, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - After jumping out to a 5-1 advantage against South Carolina on Friday night, the Bucknell baseball team faced a stiff deficit early in Saturday's NCAA Regionals elimination game at Carolina Stadium against Virginia Tech as the Hokies scored five runs in the top of the first and led 9-0 after two innings. The Bison did score four runs in the fifth inning and recorded 11 hits overall in the contest, but lost by a 16-7 margin.
The game featured a pair of rain and lightning delays that timed in at a combined 2 hours, 21 minutes. The first delay came with two outs in the top of the second inning, while the second occurred just before the first pitch in the sixth inning. Overall, the conditions at two-year-old Carolina Stadium were sunny, hot and muggy.
Bob Donato was 3-for-3 in the contest and reached base four times, while B.J. LaRosa and Doug Shribman both hit home runs for Bucknell (25-35), which wrapped up its 2010 campaign. Shribman's home run was his eighth of the postseason and his Bucknell-record 21st of the season.
Virginia Tech (39-21) advanced on to Sunday afternoon's loser's bracket game against the loser of Saturday night's South Carolina-The Citadel contest. Ronnie Shaban, Tim Smalling and Buddy Sosnoskie each posted three hits as the Hokies recorded 16 hits against six Bison pitchers. Sosnoskie hit two home runs and drove in six runs, while Shaban posted four RBIs in the first two innings off Bucknell starter Trey Frahler (4-7).
Frahler yielded five runs in the first inning and then came back out after the first delay, which lasted nearly two hours. He allowed six hits, nine runs and walked three in 1.2 innings of work. Matt Lamore relieved him and was solid. In 3.1 innings of work he allowed just five hits and two runs while striking out four. He struck out the side in the fifth before giving way to Cillo for the sixth.
Bucknell trailed 11-0 entering the fifth inning, but the Bison offense finally got things going with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Donato led off with a double and then scored after an error on a single by Drew Constable. Two batters later David Duffett posted his first hit of the regional with a double to right, plating Constable. Two hitters later LaRosa lifted a home run over the right-field wall, completing the four-run frame.
The Bison added single runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but never cut the deficit below six (11-5). They scored in the sixth on a sac fly by Constable, in the seventh on a single to right by Yoder and in the eighth on a deep home run over the left-center field bullpen by Shribman.
Sosnoskie put the game out of reach with his two homers. He hit a two-run shot that just made it into the seats in left field in the seventh and a three-run shot that landed outside of the ballpark in the eighth.
Unlike Bucknell, which brought Frahler back after the long first delay, Virginia Tech brought in reliever Manny Martir in place of starter Mathew Price in the bottom of the second after play resumed. Martir lasted four innings and allowed four runs, all in the fourth inning. He retired eight consecutive Bison at one point and earned the win to improve to 4-3 on the season.
Bucknell finished the season with 25 wins, its third straight 20-win campaign. It also reached the NCAAs for the fifth time, all since 1996. The Bison earned their berth in the NCAA Regionals by winning the Patriot League Tournament as the No. 4 seed.