April 12, 2009
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ATLANTA-Kevin Jacob struck out Phil Gosselin and forced a fly out by Danny Hultzen with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to help preserve a 4-4 game, and No. 8 Georgia Tech went 1-2-3 in the ninth inning to finish in a tie for the first time since March 27, 1985, after the game was called due to Virginia’s 4:15 p.m. travel curfew.
The tie was fitting for a weekend in which the Yellow Jackets won the series opener by scoring a run in the bottom of the ninth and the Cavaliers plated six in the top of the ninth to take an 11-10 victory in Saturday’s second game.
“We feel like we wasted some opportunities this weekend (to get a firm grip on the league lead), but Virginia is a very good team,” Tech head coach Danny Hall said. “They can really pitch, and they played great defense all weekend. And then today, it seemed like every time they got a guy in scoring position, they got him in.”
Tony Plagman went 2-for-3 with three RBI to lead the Tech offense Sunday afternoon, but his biggest hit came in the bottom of the eighth when he plated two runs with a double over the head of left fielder David Coleman to give the Yellow Jackets their first lead of the game, 4-3.
“Tony had two huge hits for us to get us back in the game and then to give us the lead late,” Hall added. “I just wished that we could have closed the ninth inning the last two days, but you have to give Virginia credit for mounting the rallies in the ninth.”
Virginia tied the game in the top of the ninth when Tyler Cannon walked, stole second base, moved to third on a single by John Hicks and scored on Corey Hunt’s pinch-hit flare to right field. An infield single by Jarrett Parker loaded the bases for Gosselin, but Jacob came on to retire both the Virginia second baseman and Hultzen on five total pitches to end the Cavalier threat.
Tech starter Brandon Cumpton tied a career high with nine strikeouts in his seven innings of work, but did not figure into the decision after the Yellow Jackets took the lead in the bottom of the eighth.
“Brandon threw the ball great,” Danny Hall said. “It’s a little bit unfortunate that they had a couple of bloop hits for runs, and it was tough luck for him. But I thought that he threw the ball great.”
Gosselin snapped a string of 10 straight batters retired by Cumpton when he singled through the right side in the top of the fourth inning. The Cavalier second baseman then came around to score on a bloop single by Dan Grovatt to give Virginia a 1-0 lead.
Virginia re-gained the lead in the fifth when Cannon dropped an RBI single just over the Yellow Jacket infield, and the Cavaliers made the score 3-1 in the sixth when Steve Proscia bounced a ball over the head of Plagman.
Jeff Rowland tripled to lead off the bottom of the sixth and scored on a two-out single by Plagman to pull the Jackets to within one run, but Tyler Wilson struck out Murton for the third out of the inning to end the threat with the Cavaliers holding a 3-2 lead.
Grovatt finished with three of the Cavaliers’ 10 hits in the game. Tech’s four runs came on just five hits.
Georgia Tech will play five games in the coming week, with all five coming away from Russ Chandler Stadium. The Jackets begin their road swing Tuesday in Athens, where they will meet Georgia for the first time this season. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. at Foley Field, and can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org). Live stats will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.