ATLANTA – The No. 1-ranked Virginia baseball team saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end with a 10-8 loss at No. 8 Georgia Tech Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta. The defeat also snapped Virginia’s school-record 11-game road win streak.
Virginia (31-3, 13-2 ACC) won two of three games in the series with Georgia Tech (24-9, 12-3) and now has captured all five of its ACC series this season, including three on the road.
Virginia’s Jared King (Jr., Radford, Va.) tied a career high with three hits, while Keith Werman (Jr., Vienna, Va.) had a pair of hits and three RBI. David Coleman (Sr., Richmond, Va.) went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI and three runs scored.
Virginia starter Cody Winiarski (Sr., Franksville, Wis.) worked 3.0 innings and pitched to the first two batters of the fourth. Winiarski (4-2) allowed five earned runs, six hits and three walks while fanning four in taking the loss. Virginia used five pitchers in the contest. UVa pitchers were plagued by six walks in the contest; the Cavaliers came in averaging just 2.1 walks per nine innings.
Georgia Tech starter Buck Farmer (6-1) pitched 7.0 innings, giving up seven runs (four earned), 10 hits and walk while striking out eight in earning the victory. Luke Bard pitched the final 1.2 innings to notch his fourth save. Kyle Davies went 4-for-4 with three RBI to lead the Yellow Jackets’ offense.
For the third straight time in the series, Georgia Tech jumped out to an early lead. Kyle Wren hit Winiarski’s first pitch of the opening inning down the right-field line for a double. Wren moved to second on a Jacob Esch groundout and scored when Davies ripped a two-out single to center. Daniel Palka then tripled to center field to plate Davies with the Jackets’ second run.
Virginia came right back in the next half inning with three runs. The first four Cavaliers reached base on base hits. Steven Proscia (Jr., Suffern, N.Y.) doubled to lead off and scored after back-to-back singles to left field by King and Coleman. Reed Gragnani (So., Richmond, Va.) then reached on a bunt single to load the bases. One out later Werman walked to force in King, and Chris Taylor (So., Virginia Beach, Va.) grounded out to second base to bring in Coleman.
The Yellow Jackets used a two-out rally to knot the score in the third. With two outs Matt Skole singled to center and moved up a base on a fielding error by Gragnani. Davies then cranked an 0-2 pitch into the left-field corner for a double, easily scoring Skole. The Jackets loaded the bases before Winiarski got Sam Dove to ground out to end the inning.
The Cavaliers scored a run in the top of the fourth on a Werman single which brought Coleman home, but the Yellow Jackets countered with three in their half of the fourth to take a 6-4 lead and force Winiarski from the game.
Georgia Tech added a pair of runs in the fifth inning on an RBI single from Wren and a sacrifice fly from Esch.
Virginia responded with two runs in the sixth, getting a sacrifice fly from pinch hitter Ryan Levine (So., Hackensack, N.J.) before Werman ripped an RBI single. The Yellow Jackets got one back in the bottom of the inning on a run-scoring groundout by Dove off UVa reliever Corey Hunt (Sr., Charlottesville, Va.).
The teams traded runs in the seventh inning. UVa picked up a run in the top of the inning when Gragnani hit a two-out single to score Proscia, who had singled to right with one out. Brandon Thomas then hit a towering leadoff home run to left field to lead off the bottom of the inning against reliever Kyle Crockett (Fr., Poquoson, Va.).
UVa threatened in the ninth inning and scored a run on a Coleman single, but Gragnani grounded into a double play with runners on first and second to end the game.
Virginia returns home this week for five games. UVa will take on Georgetown at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Coastal Carolina at 5 p.m. Wednesday and Duke from Friday through Sunday. In addition to the regular $2 Tuesday promotion ($2 hot dogs and sodas all evening), the Tuesday game also is the annual Ben & Jerry’s free cone day.