#4 UVa. baseball drops series opener at #17 Georgia Tech
The fourth-ranked Virginia baseball team lost the opening game of its ACC series at No. 17 Georgia Tech, 2-1, Friday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta. The loss was the first for Virginia (30-5, 12-4 ACC) in its opening game of a conference series this season.
Georgia Tech starting pitcher Buck Farmer (7-1) went the distance in earning the complete-game win for the Yellow Jackets (25-9, 10-6). He allowed a run, 10 hits and a walk while striking out 10 in becoming the first pitcher to throw a complete game against UVa this season.
Virginia starter Brandon Waddell (Fr., Houston, Texas) worked 5 2/3 strong innings, giving up two earned runs, six hits and a walk while striking out three as he was saddled with his first loss and fell to 2-1. The Cavaliers’ bullpen again was solid, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the game tight.
Derek Fisher (So., Rexmont, Pa.), Nick Howard (So., Olney, Md.), Reed Gragnani (Sr., Richmond, Va.) and Joe McCarthy (Fr., Scranton, Pa.) each had a pair of hits for Virginia, which finished with 10 hits. Georgia Tech picked up seven hits.
Georgia Tech wasted no time in scoring the game’s first run as Kyle Wren led off and tripled to right-center field, and Sam Dove followed with a sacrifice fly to left.
Virginia manufactured a run in the third inning. Gragnani hit a leadoff double to right, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Branden Cogswell (So., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) groundout.
Both pitchers cruised until the bottom of the sixth inning when Wren laid down a bunt and reached with a single after a miscommunication between Waddell and catcher Nate Irving (So., Yonkers, N.Y.). Dove laid down a sacrifice bunt and after Brandon Thomas popped out, Zane Evans lined a single to center to score the run and give Georgia Tech a 2-1 edge.
Virginia nearly tied things in the next half inning, but after a Howard single to left field, Fisher was thrown out at the plate on a perfect throw from Wren. UVa also got a leadoff single in the ninth from McCarthy, but he was thrown out as part of a 3-6 double-play grounder from Mike Papi (So., Tunkhannock, Pa.). Fisher followed with a single, but pinch hitter Kenny Towns (So., Burke, Va.) grounded out to end the game.
The teams continue the series at 1 p.m. Saturday. The contest will be televised by the ACC’s Regional Sports Networks (CSN Mid-Atlantic in Charlottesville area) and also will be streamed online via ESPN3. WINA 1070-AM will have the local radio broadcast, while several stations along the Virginia Sports Radio Network also will carry the call.