This one goes to 11: UVa. rallies, wins in extras, 4-3

uva-gtA literal walkoff bases-loaded walk to Branden Cogswell in the bottom of the 11th pushed across the winning run for top-ranked UVa. in a 4-3 win over Georgia Tech in ACC baseball action on Saturday.

The game, the start of which was delayed by more than three hours by rain, came down to the heroics of Cogwell, who had three hits and a game-tying, eighth-inning sacrifice fly. The UVa. 11th got started with a leadoff single by Daniel Pinero, who advanced to second on a groundout by Derek Fisher. Pinero then made the play of the game on an intentional walk to the next hitter, Joe McCarthy, stealing third on ball three when reliever Jonathan Roberts (0-2) lost track of Pinero on the basepaths.

Roberts then walked Kenny Towns on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases with one out, and Cogswell walked on four pitches to bring home Pinero with the winning run.

The long, long day at Davenport Field, with the game ending nearly seven hours after its scheduled start due to the rain delay, was a pitchers’ duel at the outset, then a nip-and-tuck affair in the late innings, tied at 1 in the eighth when the Yellow Jackets took the lead on a Matt Gonzalez sacrifice fly that scored Mott Hyde, who had led off the inning with a triple. Virginia tied the game at 2-2 on a sacrifice fly by Brandon Downes in the eighth that plated Cogswell.

A miscue by Pinero, the second of the game for the ‘Hoos, allowed Brandon Gold to reach with one out in the ninth, and Earnest made UVa. pay with a double to left-center on a 2-2 pitch from Whit Mayberry that scored Gold from second and gave Tech a 3-2 lead.

The Cavs tied it again in the bottom of the ninth, getting a leadoff single from Fisher, who stole second, advanced to third on a grounder by McCarthy, and was joined on the bases by Towns, who walked to put runners on the corners. Cogswell, who had three hits on the day, hit a fly ball to medium-distance in left, and Fisher beat the throw to the plate from Gonzalez by a step-and-a-half.

Georgia Tech (29-22, 14-15 ACC) got the scoring going in the top of the first aided by the first of Virginia’s two fielding mistakes, a one-out grounder to third off the bat of Hyde that went through the wickets of Towns. Thomas Smith plated him with a two-out RBI double to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead.

UVa. (40-9, 20-6 ACC) tied it in the second on a leadoff homer by McCarthy, his fifth of the season, but that was it as far as offense off the day’s two starting pitchers was concerned. Virginia got a solid start from Josh Sborz, who went six innings, giving up a run on two hits, striking out five and walking two, while Georgia Tech starter Devin Stanton had a nice outing in his own right, giving up a run on five hits in six-plus, strking out five and walking three.

Mayberry (5-1) picked up the win in relief for Virginia, giving up an unearned run on two hits in three innings of work.

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