May 10, 2014
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Georgia Tech held leads of 1-0 in the first, 2-1 in the eighth and 3-2 in the ninth, but No. 1 Virginia rallied late for the second straight game and beat the Yellow Jackets 4-3 in 11 innings Saturday at Davenport Field in Charlottesville, Va.
The Cavaliers plated the game-tying run in the ninth, then walked off with the winning run in the 11th to improve to 40-9 overall and 20-6 in ACC play. The Jackets suffered another gut-wrenching loss and slipped to 29-22, 14-15.
Tech is now 4-5 in extra-inning games and 8-10 in one-run games, tying a school record for most extra-inning games in one season (1986). Friday night, the Yellow Jackets led 3-2 in the seventh inning before the Cavs rallied for a 4-3 win.
The start of Saturday’s game was delayed three hours by rain.
Matt Gonzalez’s sac fly in the eighth inning scored Mott Hyde, who smoked a lead-off triple down the right-field line, and the Jackets found themselves in front 2-1. Virginia came right back in the bottom half and manufactured the equalizer thanks to Brandon Downes sac fly.
Tech was right back in business in the ninth as Brandon Gold reached on a one-out error and Mitch Earnest followed two batters later by smashing an RBI double to left-field gap to silence Virginia’s crowd of 4,179.
The Cavaliers, though, had answer again. Brandon Cogswell’s sac fly brought home Derek Fisher, who led off the ninth with a single, stole second and moved to third on a grounder.
Each team went scoreless in the 10th and Virginia’s decisive 11th-inning rally was triggered when Daniel Pinero led off with a single and a grounder moved him to second. Pinero swiped third and the Jackets intentionally walked Joe McCarthy. Kenny Towns drew a free pass to load the bases and the game ended when a 3-0 pitch to Cogswell was taken for ball four — Virginia’s only lead of the game.
Tech starter Devin Stanton turned in another solid start, scattering five hits over six innings and allowing one run with five strikeouts. He turned a 1-1 game over to the bullpen and senior Dusty Isaacs tossed four innings of four-hit, two-run relief. Jonathan Roberts pitched the 11th and absorbed the loss (0-2).
Whit Mayberry earned the win (5-1) after three innings of relief. Cogswell was 3-for-4 with two RBI.
Thomas Smith was 2-for-4 and his RBI double to left in the first inning gave the Jackets an early 1-0 lead after Hyde reached on an error and took second on a wild pitch.
Hyde finished the game with two hits and scored twice, extending his ACC-leading reached-base streak to 29 games. Hyde has also hit safely in six straight. The triple was his second of the year and the Jackets’ ACC-leading 18th. Earnest was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a walk.
The finale of the series and Tech’s final ACC game of the regular season is set for Sunday at 12 p.m.