May 10, 2003
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Freshman Steven Blackwood delivered a two-out, three-run double in the top of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and give No. 11 Georgia Tech (36-13, 14-6 ACC) a 5-2 win over Virginia (26-20, 9-10) on Saturday night at Davenport field in the second game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series. The win, the Yellow Jackets’ second straight over the Cavaliers, kept Tech in second place in the ACC standings and just one game behind Florida State, which defeated Maryland, 14-6, on Saturday afternoon.
With the score knotted at 2-2 after seven innings, Georgia Tech loaded the bases on a single with one out, and an error and walk with two outs. Blackwood lined a bases-clearing double in the right center field gap to give the Yellow Jackets a 5-3 lead before he was thrown out at third base trying to extend the hit into a triple. Blackwood finished the game 3-for-4 with three RBI, and for the season he has driven in 31 runs in just 63 at bats.
Tech reliever Brian Burks (4-1) earned the victory by working 2.2 scoreless innings and striking out five batters to close out the game. After allowing Virginia to tie the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Burks retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings.
Virginia reliever Dave Spooner (0-3) took the loss.
Georgia Tech squandered several scoring opportunities in the first half of the game as the Yellow Jackets stranded two runners on base in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings. Tech managed to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the third inning on consecutive doubles from Blackwood and Matt Murton.
Virginia appeared to tie the score at 1-1 when Matt Street tagged up to score on Joe Koshansky’s fly out to left field, but Street was called out on an appeal play after it was ruled that he left third base too early.
The Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning by successfully executing a double steal with Eric Patterson and Matt Murton. Patterson led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Blackwood and took third on Murton’s infield single to first base. Clifton Remole swung and missed on an 0-2 pitch as Murton took off for second base. When catcher Scott Headd threw to second base, Patterson took off from third base and successfully beat the return throw home for the stolen base and run scored.
The Cavaliers mounted a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning, putting two runners on base with one out on consecutive walks to the eighth and ninth men in the batting order. Matt Street drove in pinch runner Miguel Luina on a RBI single up the middle to give the Cavaliers their first run in 17 innings in the series and cut the Tech lead to 2-1. Matt Dunn followed with a single to left field that loaded the bases with one out before Kyle Werman scored on a wild pitch to tie the score at 2-2. Virginia had a chance to do further damage, but Burks struck out the next two hitters to escape the jam.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision despite both turning in solid efforts. Tech’s Kyle Bakker went 6.1 innings, carrying a shutout in to the seventh inning before surrendering two runs. Virginia’s Chris Gale worked six innings and allowed one run on seven hits while striking out eight batters.
Georgia Tech and Virginia will conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. Radio coverage will be available on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta), while live statistics and the radio broadcast will be available on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com.