Georgia Tech salvages finale, tops #12 UVA

virginia baseballThe No. 12 UVA baseball team’s eight-game win streak came to a halt Sunday afternoon with a 5-4 loss to No. 19 Georgia Tech in front of 4,531 fans at Davenport Field. The Cavaliers (33-18, 16-11 ACC) took two of three games in the series with the Yellow Jackets (33-18, 12-14).

“We didn’t execute pitching-wise and offensively like we did in the first two games,” Virginia head coach Brian O’Connor said. “You have to give all the credit to Georgia Tech. They did a nice rebound from the first two games. (Matthew) Gorst was really good. He was doing a nice job of throwing his slider and mixing in his fastball. We just didn’t make enough adjustments to muster any runs. We had opportunities, but credit to them. They did what they needed to in order to win.”

Virginia starting pitcher Adam Haseley (So., Windermere, Fla.) allowed five earned runs and eight hits in four innings of work. He took the loss and dropped to 7-3 this season.

The Georgia Tech closer, Gorst (1-1) entered with two out in the third inning and shut down the UVA offense, allowing just three hits and two walks over the final 6 1/3 innings in earning the win. Starter Jake Lee pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up four earned runs and five hits.

UVA was limited to eight hits after piling up 28 in the first two games of the series. Matt Thaiss (Jr., Jackson, N.J.) went 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBI, while Justin Novak (So., Tokyo, Japan) also recorded a pair of hits. The Cavaliers left eight on base, including five in the seventh and eighth innings.

The teams combined for six home runs during the blustery afternoon – all in the first 3 1Ž2 innings – matching a Davenport Field record, set on May 12, 2002, against Clemson. After Georgia Tech took the lead on Arden Pabst’s two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning, neither team scratched across another run.

Virginia wasted no time in grabbing an early lead as Ernie Clement (So., Rochester, N.Y.) hit the first pitch of the opening inning for a triple to center. One out later, Thaiss grounded out to second base to bring Clement home.

Craport and Ryan Peurifoy hit solo homers in the second inning to give Georgia Tech a 2-1 edge, but UVA knotted the score in the bottom of the inning on a Charlie Cody (So., Chesapeake, Va.) solo blast and then took the lead in the third when Thaiss cranked a two-run home run midway up the batters’ eye in center field. Cody’s long ball was his second of the series and season, while Thaiss’s blast was his team-leading eighth of the year.

Georgia Tech scored three runs in the fourth inning to take a 5-4 lead as Craport hit his second solo homer of the day and Pabst followed with a line drive, two-run homer into the left-field bleachers.

Gorst allowed just one single in his first 3 1/3 innings of work. Virginia threatened in the seventh and eighth innings but was unable to take advantage. UVA left runners at first and second in the seventh inning. In the eighth inning, the Cavaliers put runners at second and third with one out. Gorst struck out Cody for the second out before walking Andy Weber (Fr., Aurora, Ohio) to load the bases. Cameron Simmons (Fr., Royersford, Pa.) flied out to center to end the threat. Gorst retired the Cavaliers in order in the ninth to end the game.

Virginia continues its seven-game homestand at 6 p.m. Tuesday when it battles Richmond. UVA concludes the regular season with a three-game ACC series Thursday through Saturday against Virginia Tech at Davenport Field.