April 9, 2011
ATLANTA – No.1 Virginia used a five-run fifth inning, and held off a late rally attempt by No. 8 Georgia Tech for a 12-9 series clinching win on Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The series loss was the first of the season for the Yellow Jackets (23-9, 11-3 ACC) and ended a streak of 10-consecutive regular season series wins dating back to May 7-9, 2010. Virginia (31-2, 13-1 ACC) won its 12th-straight game.
With the game tied at 2-2 in the fifth inning, the Cavaliers broke through with five runs off of Tech starter Jed Bradley, beginning with a RBI double from Steven Proscia and ending with a run scoring double from Colin Harrington to push the lead to 7-2.
Bradley (3-1) was credited with the loss after allowing seven runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. The junior left-hander had allowed just three hits prior to the fifth inning, but was credited with his first loss of the season after allowing the five runs on five hits in the frame.
Virginia pitcher Justin Thompson earned the win on the mound, scattering four runs on five hits over the final 4 1/3 innings of relief. He had eight strikeouts on the night.
Thompson entered with two outs and bases loaded in the fifth for Cavalier starter Tyler Wilson, and went on to get a groundout from Sam Dove to end the threat. Tech had cut the lead to 7-5 with three runs off of Virginia starter Tyler Wilson and reliever Kyle Crockett before Thompson came in.
The Cavaliers went on to score five more runs on the Tech bullpen over the next four innings, two off them crossing the plate on a single by Keith Werman in the seventh inning. Werman scored three times as well to cap his two hit day.
The Jackets didn’t go down quietly, attempting a furious rally in the ninth inning.
Down 12-6 with one out, freshman Daniel Palka hit a three-run blast to right field off of Thompson to cut the lead to 12-9. Thompson would go on to strikeout pinch-hitter Jeff Ussery and sophomore Brandon Thomas to eliminate any further threat.
Both teams combined for 27 hits in the three hour and thirty-seven minute contest. Junior Matt Skole led the Jackets with a 3-for-5 performance, while John Barr and John Hicks paced Virginia with three hits apiece. The two teams will conclude the series on Sunday with a noon start at Russ Chandler Stadium.