CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Zane Evans hit a solo home run in the 10th inning as Georgia Tech avoided a series sweep in a 5-4 win over the No. 21 Virginia baseball team Sunday afternoon on Senior Day at Davenport Field. Despite seeing its 10-game winning streak come to a halt, Virginia (34-15-1, 16-11 ACC) took two of three games in the series for its third-consecutive ACC series win.
Georgia Tech (31-21, 11-16) rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings before winning the game in the 10th.
Justin Thompson (Sr., Danville, Va.) took the loss for Virginia and fell to 4-2 after allowing three earned runs and five hits in 2.0 innings. The earned runs marked the first against the Virginia bullpen in ACC play in 39.0 innings and nearly a month, dating to April 15 against North Carolina.
Virginia starting pitcher Artie Lewicki (So., Wyckoff, N.J.) gave the Cavaliers a strong start. He went 7.0 innings, allowing two earned runs, four hits and three walks while striking out two.
Georgia Tech reliever Alex Cruz (7-2) worked 5.2 innings, allowing an earned run and three hits in earning the win. Evans came on to pick up the final two outs in the 10th inning to earn his fourth save. Georgia Tech starter Cole Pitts worked 3.2 innings and allowed three earned runs, six hits and three walks.
Virginia finished with nine hits from nine different players. Prior to the game Virginia held its annual Senior Day ceremonies. Five fourth-year student-athletes were honored: Shane Halley (Burke, Va.), Jared King (Radford, Va.), Scott Silverstein (Olney, Md.), Thompson and Keith Werman (Vienna, Va.).
For the third straight time in the series, Virginia scored in the first inning. Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) led off with a single and stole second on the first pitch to Branden Cogswell (Fr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.), who later bunted Taylor to third. Stephen Bruno (R-So., Audubon, N.J.) followed with an RBI single to left-center field.
Georgia Tech knotted the score in the top of the third. After a one-out walk to Connor Lynch, Kyle Wren doubled to right-center to move Lynch to third. Sam Dove grounded to shortstop to bring Lynch home.
Virginia answered with a run in its half of the third. With one out Cogswell singled deep in the hole at shortstop and he scored on a two-out double off the wall in right-center by Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.).
The Cavaliers added a run in the fourth inning. With one out Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) reached on an infield single. Downes went to third on a hit-and-run single by Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.) and scored when Werman laid down a squeeze bunt.
Georgia Tech cut a run from the lead in the seventh inning. Evans led off with a double down the left-field line and scored when the next batter, Thomas Smith singled to center.
Virginia again countered in its half of the inning. Werman led off with a single and moved to second on a Taylor groundout. A wild pitch allowed Werman to reach third, and Cogswell hit a sacrifice fly to left to give UVa a 4-2 advantage.
The Yellow Jackets recorded four hits in the ninth inning against Thompson to tie the game. Evans and Hyde hit back-to-back singles to start the inning. A Smith sacrifice advanced the runners, and Daniel Spangola followed with a solid single to center to plate Evans. Thompson struck out pinch hitter Paul Kronenfeld for the second out, but Wren, on a 3-2 pitch, cranked a hard grounder back up the middle that Taylor stretched to knock down, but his throw to first was just late, and the base hit tied the score at 4-4.
Georgia Tech grabbed its first lead in the 10th when Evans lined a 2-out solo home run into the first row of bleachers in left field.
Virginia threatened in its half of the 10th, as pinch hitter Kenny Towns (Fr., Burke, Va.) hit a one-out single, and Bruno was plunked by the next pitch. Evans came on in relief and struck out Fisher before getting King to lift a fly ball to right field to end the game.
Virginia concludes the home portion of its regular-season schedule at 6 p.m. Tuesday when it entertains VCU. The Cavaliers travel to Maryland Thursday through Saturday for their final ACC series of the year.