No. 2 Georgia Tech Evens Series With 9-7 Win Over No. 4 Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The No. 4 Virginia baseball team dropped a 9-7 decision to No. 2 Georgia Tech Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 4,219 at Davenport Field. The attendance figure tops the previous UVa school record which was set on Friday night. The series is now tied at a game apiece, with the rubber game set for noon Sunday.
Near-capacity crowds are once again anticipated on Sunday, and fans are encouraged to arrive early.
Virginia (26-7, 9-5 ACC) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning, only to see Georgia Tech (27-4, 12-2) storm back to score the next nine runs. UVa got the potential winning run to the plate in the ninth inning before the Yellow Jackets closed out the game.
Virginia starting pitcher Robert Morey (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) worked five innings and pitched to the first batter in the sixth. Morey (4-2) allowed eight runs (seven earned), eight hits and two walks while striking out four in taking the loss. Branden Kline (Fr., Frederick, Md.) pitched the final four innings and allowed just one unearned run as he kept the Cavaliers within striking distance.
Buck Farmer (3-1) pitched six strong innings of relief and held the Cavaliers in check as Georgia Tech made its comeback. He entered after starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton failed to retire any of the five batters he faced. Cumpton’s first 11 pitches were balls, and he walked four of the five batters. Andrew Robinson got the final six outs to record his second save.
Jarrett Parker (Jr., Stafford, Va.) tied the UVa career record for triples with his fifth-inning triple. He now has 13 career triples, matching the school record set by Brian Buchanan (1992-94). Parker finished with two hits and two RBI. Tyler Cannon (Jr., Pigeon Forge, Tenn.) and John Hicks (So., Sandy Hook, Va.) each had two hits, while Stephen Bruno (Fr., Audubon, N.J.) had a hit and two RBI as he pushed his hitting streak to 13 games.
Virginia scored four runs in the first inning. After Cumpton walked the first two batters, Bruno smacked a 3-2 pitch into left field for a single to score Phil Gosselin (Jr., West Chester, Pa.). Steven Proscia (So., Suffern, N.Y.) and Dan Grovatt (Jr., Tabernacle, N.J.) then drew back-to-back walks to force in a run.
Farmer entered the game and gave up a two-run single to Hicks. UVa put runners at second and third with one out but were unable to do more damage.
In the second Virginia padded its lead on a Bruno groundout to score Gosselin, who led off the inning with a walk and moved to third on a Cannon ground-rule double to left. With one out Cannon stole third, but Farmer avoided more trouble when he struck out Grovatt and forced Hicks to ground to third baseman Matt Skole, who made a diving play and perfect throw to first to end the inning.
Morey gave up a leadoff single to Thomas Nichols in the third before recording two outs. Jeff Rowland singled off the glove of diving first baseman Kenny Swab (Jr., Kernersville, N.C.) before Derek Dietrich worked the count with several foul balls before crushing a three-run home run to pull the Yellow Jackets to within 5-3.
In the fifth Dietrich hit an RBI single to score Evan Martin and cut the lead to 5-4. On the next pitch Tony Plagman went opposite field with a three-home run just inside the left-field foul pole to give Georgia Tech a 7-5 lead.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of UVa defensive lapses to double their lead in the sixth inning. With one out and runners at second and third, Martin grounded into a fielder’s choice to Proscia, who stepped on third base for one out but made an errant throw to first to allow Jacob Esch to move third. Martin moved to second on a passed ball and both runners scored on a Danny Hultzen (So., Bethesda, Md.) fielding error at first base.
Virginia broke a five-inning scoreless drought with a seventh-inning run. With one out Hicks doubled down into the left-field corner and moved to third when Martin bobbled the ball. Hicks scored on a sacrifice fly by Parker.
The Cavaliers brought the winning run to the plate in the ninth before falling short. UVa pulled within two runs on Parker’s two-out RBI single, but Robinson forced Chris Taylor (Fr., Virginia Beach, Va.) to fly out to left field to end the game.