March 10, 2013
BLACKSBURG, Va. – For the first time this season, No. 18 Georgia Tech’s bats were held in check and Virginia Tech avoided the sweep by beating the Yellow Jackets, 6-2, Sunday afternoon at English Field. Brandon Thomas had two hits, and he and Daniel Palka drove in runs.
The Jackets had both their nine-game winning streak and nine-game streak of reaching double-digit runs snapped, while slipping to 14-2 overall, 2-1 in the ACC. The winning streak was Tech’s longest since a 16-game win streak in 2011.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to three consecutive singles to open the game from Kyle Wren, Sam Dove and Brandon Thomas, the Jackets were limited to just four hits over the next eight innings. Hokie starter Devin Burke turned in a gem to lift his Hokies to 12-4 overall, 1-2 in the ACC.
Georgia Tech starter Cole Pitts was up to the task as well, and the pitchers’ duel went to the bottom of the sixth inning knotted at 1-1. That’s when Mark Zagunis and Andrew Rash hit consecutive one-out singles, and Brendon Hayden’s three-run shot to right off Pitts was the final blow for the sophomore, who absorbed a loss (3-1) for the first time since April 29, 2012 versus Clemson.
The hosts scored four times on five hits in the frame, and it would be all Burke needed to improve to 4-0. Burke allowed six hits, two runs and two walks with one strikeout in the winning effort. Alex Perez had three hits, and his RBI single in the fourth inning tied the game at 1-1. Chad Pinder’s RBI in the eighth inning added insurance for the Hokies.
But the Jackets didn’t go quietly, as Thomas led off the ninth with a single to knock Burke from the game. Palka followed with an RBI double to the right-field corner off reliever Joe Mantiply. With one out, Zane Evans singled through the left side to put runners at the corners, but Mantiply rolled a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.
The two runs were a season-low and the seven hits matched a season-low for Tech.
The Yellow Jackets have the week off and return to action Friday at Russ Chandler Stadium to open a three-game series versus Boston College. Friday’s first pitch is set for 6 p.m.