Connor Jones pitches gem as No. 12 UVA tops No. 19 Georgia Tech

connor jones virginiaConnor Jones (Jr., Chesapeake, Va.) fired a complete-game seven-hitter in leading the No. 12 Virginia baseball team to a 6-3 win over No. 19 Georgia Tech Friday evening in the opener of a three-game series at Davenport Field. Returning from a nine-day break for final exams, Virginia (32-17, 15-10 ACC) won its seventh consecutive game, including its fifth straight in ACC play.

“To get a complete game on Friday night in this league is pretty rare,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “And Connor Jones was really efficient. He did it on 104 pitches in nine innings. Pretty rare to have that many strikeouts like he did on just over 100 pitches and go nine [innings]. Certainly, it makes a difference. It saves your bullpen. Connor seemed like he got stronger as the game went on. He was his best in the ninth inning, and that’s what you want your leader, your Friday night guy, to do.”

Jones (10-1) fired his third complete game in his last five starts and is the first Cavalier pitcher to record three complete games in a season since Will Roberts in 2011. He allowed seven hits and one walk while fanning seven. Jones became the 12th Virginia pitcher to record at least 10 wins in a season and recorded his 21st career win, moving into a fifth-place tie in the UVA career annals with Brandon Waddell (2013-15), Joe Koshansky (2001-04), Seth Greisinger (1994-96) and Tim Burcham (1983-85).

Georgia Tech starter Brandon Gold (6-3) took the loss after allowing a season-high six earned runs, 10 hits and a pair of walks while striking out four in 5 1/3 innings.

Virginia racked up 11 hits, highlighted by a 2-for-4, three-RBI day from Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.). Haseley and Charlie Cody (So., Chesapeake, Va.) each homered, while Pavin Smith (So., Jupiter, Fla.) and Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) recorded a pair of hits apiece.

Georgia Tech (32-17, 11-13) grabbed a 2-0 lead just four batters into the game when Kel Johnson launched a two-run double off the center-field wall to score Connor Justus and Wade Bailey, who started the game with back-to-back singles.

Virginia scored four runs in the fourth inning to grab a 4-2 lead. With one out Thaiss and Smith hit back-to-back singles, and both scored on a double off the right-field wall from Haseley. Cody followed with a two-run homer off the façade of the left-field bleachers, his first home run of the year.

UVA extended its lead with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Smith smacked a one-out RBI single to center to bring home Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.). UVA added a run in the sixth when Haseley led off with a home run to right-center, his sixth homer of the year.

Georgia Tech scored an unearned run in the seventh inning when Justus hit a one-out sacrifice fly to center field.

The teams continue the series at 4 p.m. Saturday and Noon Sunday. Live video broadcasts for the series can be accessed on VirginiaSports.com via a Cavaliers Live subscription. The radio broadcasts for both games will air on WINA 1070-AM and 98.9-FM. A link to live statistics also can be found on VirginiaSports.com.

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