March 22, 2009
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Kevin Jacob worked 4-1/3 shutout innings while Matt Skole and Tony Plagman paced the offense with four hits apiece to lead No. 3 Georgia Tech (16-2, 6-1 ACC) to a 18-8 win over Virginia Tech (13-8, 2-6 ACC) Sunday afternoon at English Field.
With the victory, the Yellow Jackets won their sixth-consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference series, including three-straight to end the 2008 season.
Virginia Tech scored six runs over the first three innings, but Jacob (4-0) came on to hold the Hokies scoreless over the next 4-1/3 innings to earn his fourth win of the season. The sophomore right hander limited Virginia Tech to two hits while striking out five and walking only one in the game.
“I told the team after the game that (Kevin Jacob) saved the day,” head coach Danny Hall said. “He gave us four really good innings to shut them down before we were able to get key hits to blow the game open. But he was the story of the day.”
Plagman and Skole accounted for eight of Tech’s 19 hits in the game, and the corner infielders combined for nine RBI against the Hokies in the series finale.
Skole batted .667 (10-for-15) with three home runs and 11 RBI in the three-game series against Virginia Tech, while Plagman went 8-for-14 (.571) with seven RBI.
“Skole had an unbelievable week, and so did Tony,” Hall added. “Both of those guys swung the bat really well, and we needed them to. We needed to score some runs to win today.”
Tech scored in every inning but the second, including a five-run fourth inning which put the Yellow Jackets ahead for good.
Back-to-back run-scoring singles by Plagman and Skole, followed by a sacrifice fly from Luke Murton, gave the Yellow Jackets a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but Virginia Tech scored once in the bottom of the inning and added two more runs in the second to even the score at 3-3.
The Jackets added an unearned run in the third, but an RBI single by Virginia Tech second baseman Michael Seaborn tied the game in the bottom of the frame before a two-run double from Steve Bumbry gave the Hokies their first lead and chased Georgia Tech starter Brandon Cumpton from the game.
Cumpton was tagged for six runs on eight hits in his 2-2/3 innings of work. He also walked three and struck out three before turning the game over to Jacob, who entered with two outs and a runner on second to strike out Anthony Sosnoskie, ending the third inning threat.
Georgia Tech re-gained the lead with a five-run fourth inning and added another run in the fifth to make the score 10-6. Cole Leonida led off the fourth with a solo home run, his second of the season. Following an RBI single by Plagman, Skole smacked his seventh home run of the season – a three-run shot – over the left field wall to give the Jackets a 9-6 lead.
In the fifth inning, Chris House reached base on a two-out throwing error by shortstop Ty Hohman, moved to second on a failed pickoff attempt by Hokie reliever Clark Labitan, and scored on an RBI single by Jeff Rowland.
Tech plated two in the sixth on run-scoring singles by Plagman and Skole, and added two more in the seventh with RBI singles from Derek Dietrich and Plagman. Dietrich plated another pair in the eighth inning with a two-run single, which followed a sacrifice fly by Rowland.
The Jackets’ final run came on a solo home run by Jake Davies in the top of the ninth inning.
The Jackets return to action Tuesday when they host cross-town foe Georgia State at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on FSN South, while WREK-FM (91.1 in Atlanta/www.wrek.org) provides the radio broadcast. Live stats for all Tech baseball games are available at Ramblinwreck.com.