May 25, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Jake Davies capped an explosive day for 8th-seeded Georgia Tech, with his three-run home run in the seventh inning being the final blow as the Yellow Jackets run-ruled 4th-seeded Virginia, 17-5, Friday at the ACC Baseball Championship at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro, N.C.
The Jackets posted the most-lopsided victory by a No. 8-seed in the tournament’s 39-year history, after Wednesday, becoming just the third 8th-seed to knock off a No. 1-seed with the 5-4 win over Florida State.
For Tech, the 17 runs are a season-high and the most in ACC Championship play since beating NC State, by the same score, on the same field in 2010.
Tech improved to 34-24 overall, 2-0 in Pool A, and needs a Florida State win over Clemson to secure a spot in Sunday’s ACC Championship game. Should Clemson beat FSU today, the 11 a.m. game tomorrow between the Jackets and the Tigers would be for a spot in the title game.
“That was a great game for us, obviously,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Once we got the lead, we really swung the bats well. We had some great at bats, and I thought Cole really settled in. He got some big outs when he needed with guys in scoring position, and then our offense took over from there.”
After Virginia (37-17-1) sprinted out to a 3-0 heading to the bottom of the third inning, Tech unleashed the offense by scoring six times on six hits in the third. The Jackets tacked on four more in the fourth, two more in sixth and ended it in decisive fashion with a five-run seventh inning, highlighted by Davies’ walk-off three-run bomb to right.
Every Jacket in the lineup had at least one hit, as Tech pounded out 14 hits – including eight for extra bases (four doubles, a triple and three home runs).
Thomas got the offense going with this two-run single up the middle in the third, pulling Tech within 3-2. After Davies doubled off the wall in right, Evans followed with a two-run double down the left-field line and two batters later, Hyde smashed a two-run homer down the left-field line.
Tech sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth-run third inning, and never looked back behind freshman righty Cole Pitts. The rookie worked five innings, allowed eight hits and four runs (two earned) to earn his second-consecutive win (6-4), and sophomore Dusty Isaacs closed out the final two innings.
Evans’ two-run single highlighted a four-run fourth inning that made the score 10-4, and he came back to the plate in the sixth to power a two-run opposite-field homer over the fence in right that made it 12-5. The game ended with Evans on deck, and a triple shy of the cycle.
“I was getting good pitches to hit,” said Evans. “I got some hangers, and I was just seeing the ball well.”
In the seventh, Thomas Smith walked and Connor Lynch doubled him home. Two batters later, Sam Dove rifled an RBI triple to the gap in right for a 14-5 lead. Thomas was hit by pitch, and Davies — after homering twice in Wednesday’s win over Florida State — hit his 12th bomb of the season, a towering shot to right for the walk-off win.
In two tournament games this year, Davies is 4-for-6 with seven RBI, five runs and a trio of homers.
Virginia starter Scott Silverstein was tagged the loss (2-5) after yielding four hits and four runs in 2 1/3 innings. Colin Harrington was 3-for-4 and scored twice.
**Senior Jake Davies has hit a career best 12 home runs this season. Of the 18 in his career, 12 have come with runners on base.
**Georgia Tech hit just three home runs in three games of the 2010 ACC Tournament at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro. Through two games in 2012, the Jackets have launched five at the same park.
**Since the ACC adopted the pool-play tournament format in 2007, the Jackets had never started the 2-0.
**Tech’s six-run third inning was its highest-scoring inning against an ACC team this season, and most since a pair of seven-run innings versus Kennesaw State (Feb. 29) and Rutgers (March 2).
**The 17-5 victory snaps Tech’s streak of eight-consecutive games decided by two runs or less.
**The 17 runs allowed by Virginia stand as a season high, and the most allowed by Virginia to an ACC team since Clemson scored 17 on May 12, 2001.