GREENSBORO, N.C. – The No. 17 Virginia baseball team lost 17-5 to No. 8 seed Georgia Tech Friday afternoon at the ACC Baseball Championship at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C. The game was halted in the seventh inning because of the tournament’s 10-run mercy rule. The No. 4 seed in the tournament, Virginia (37-17-1) is now 1-1 in pool play.
UVa concludes pool play at 3 p.m. Saturday when it takes on top-seeded Florida State.
Colin Harrington (R-So., Johnstown, Pa.) tied a career high with three hits for the Cavaliers, while Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) and Branden Cogswell (Fr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) each added a pair of hits. Zane Evans went 3-for-4 with six RBI to highlight a big offensive day for Georgia Tech (34-24).
UVa starting pitcher Scott Silverstein (R-Jr., Olney, Md.) took the loss for UVa and fell to 2-5 after allowing four earned runs, four hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. Cole Pitts (6-4) notched the win for Georgia Tech after allowing four runs (two earned) in five innings.
The Yellow Jackets’ 17-run performance easily marked the most runs allowed by Virginia this year. The Cavaliers surrendered 12 runs in a March 17 loss at Florida State. UVa had not allowed more than six runs in any of its previous 25 games.
Virginia bolted to an early 3-0 edge, with a pair of runs in the second and one in the third. In the second, Jared King (R-Jr., Radford, Va.) reached on a leadoff error. Harrington and Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) hit back-to-back singles to bring in a run. After a sacrifice bunt by Nate Irving (Fr., Yonkers, N.Y.), Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.) laid down a squeeze bunt to bring Harrington home.
UVa added a run in the third. Fisher hit a leadoff single and stole second base. He scored on a one-out single to right by Harrington.
Georgia Tech sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run third inning. Silverstein hit Connor Lynch with a pitch to start the inning, and Kyle Wren followed with a single. After a sacrifice bunt, Brandon Thomas singled to center to plate a pair of runs. Jake Davies doubled to knock Silverstein out, and Evans doubled against Nick Howard (Fr., Olney, Md.) to give the Yellow Jackets the lead. One out later Mott Hyde lined a home run to left field to push the Georgia Tech lead to 6-3.
The Yellow Jackets padded their lead in the fourth inning, scoring four times to move ahead 10-3. After Howard walked the first two batters, Wren and Sam Dove, Thomas lined a double down the right-field line to score a run. Howard intentionally walked Davies, and Austin Young (So., Mechanicsville, Va.) came on in relief. On Young’s first pitch, Evans hit a scorcher off the glove of a diving Stephen Bruno (R-So., Audubon, N.J.) at third base, and two runs scored on the single. One out later Hyde hit a sacrifice fly.
Virginia cut a run from the lead in the fifth inning, getting singles from Harrington and Irving before Werman hit a run-scoring grounder to second base. UVa chipped away with another tally in the sixth, as Cogswell led off with a single, stole second and scored on a Fisher single.
Georgia Tech got those runs back in its half of the sixth when Evans went the opposite way for a two-run home to right field.
In the seventh inning Thomas Smith drew a leadoff walk and scored when Lynch doubled to left-center field. One out later Dove tripled to right-center to plate Lynch. After Thomas was hit by a pitch, Davies launched a three-run homer over the right-center field wall to trigger the mercy rule.