#16 UVA baseball loses again: Georgia Tech takes series with 2-1 win
The No. 16 Virginia baseball team lost to Georgia Tech, 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta. Georgia Tech (24-12, 9-9 ACC) won the series two games to one. Virginia (21-14, 7-11 ACC) fell into a 4-0 hole in the fifth inning before coming back and twice having the tying run on base.
“I thought in the back half of the game, we had a lot of fight in us,” UVa head coach Brian O’Connor said. “Josh Sborz pitched out of some clutch situations, but we just didn’t do enough from an offensive standpoint in the first half of the game. Credit (GT starting pitcher) Brandon Gold. He did a really nice job of mixing and matching, but we fought and had a chance there at the end of the ballgame to tie the game. Our guys are continuing to fight and continuing to grind. ”
Ernie Clement (Fr., Rochester, N.Y.) recorded two hits Sunday as he went 7-for-11 in the series. After recording at least 14 hits in each of the previous three games, the Cavaliers were limited to five on Sunday. After coming into the game in the sixth inning as a injury replacement, Charlie Cody (Fr., Chesapeake, Va.) homered in his lone at bat in the eighth inning for Virginia.
Virginia starter Brandon Waddell (Jr., Houston, Texas) took the loss and dropped to 2-3 on the year after allowing four earned runs, six hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. UVa closer Josh Sborz (Jr., McLean, Va.) worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to keep the game within reach.
Georgia Tech starter Brandon Gold (5-1) picked up the win after working seven innings and giving up a run, three hits and two walks while fanning seven. Zac Ryan pitched the final two innings to notch his seventh save.
Georgia Tech scored three runs in the fourth inning. In a three-pitch span, the Jackets put their first run on the board as Wade Bailey and Matt Gonzalez hit back-to-back singles before A.J. Murray doubled in Bailey. A Keenan Innis groundout brought Gonzalez home, and Connor Justus followed with a single to right to plate Murray.
The Yellow Jackets added a run in the fifth as Gonzalez hit a comebacker that caromed off Waddell’s foot and into right field, with Grant Wruble coming home to score.
Virginia scored in the seventh inning. On the eighth pitch of the at bat, Pavin Smith (Fr., Jupiter, Fla.) tripled off the center-field wall. He scored on a sacrifice fly from Kevin Doherty (Jr., Laytonsville, Md.).
UVa cut the lead to 4-3 in the eighth as Pinero singled to conclude a long at-bat, and Cody cranked the next pitch high over the left-field wall for his first college home run. Cody was hitting in the three-hole in place of Matt Thaiss (So., Jackson, N.J.), who left the game with an injury in the sixth inning.
Doherty walked to lead off the ninth inning but was left stranded at 2nd base to end the game.
Virginia returns home Tuesday to start a season-long seven-game homestand. The Cavaliers take on Radford at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Davenport Field and play host to William & Mary at 6 p.m. Wednesday. UVa jumps back into ACC play next weekend (Friday through Sunday) as No. 11 Miami comes to Davenport Field.