​No. 9 baseball wins two of three against Georgia Tech

spbaseballsmithcourtesyvirginiaathletics

Junior first baseman Pavin Smith hit a two-run blast in the top of the fourth inning in Virginia's 10-9 rubber match victory over Georgia Tech.

Courtesy Virginia Athletics

The No. 9 Virginia baseball team headed to Atlanta to face Georgia Tech at Russ Chandler Stadium for their final series before ACC Tournament play.

The Cavaliers (41-13, 18-12 ACC) came off a mid-week victory against Richmond, and continued their dominance against the Yellow Jackets (27-26, 11-19 ACC) — winning two of three to capture their sixth-straight ACC series.

Virginia entered the first game of the series Tuesday night starting sophomore left-handed pitcher Daniel Lynch and looked to reach 40 wins in a season for the 11th time under coach Brian O'Connor in his 14-year tenure.

Three home runs from the Cavaliers could not overcome the big bats of Georgia Tech in the series opener, as they fell 14-7. Sophomore outfielder Jake McCarthy had a big two-run homer — a major part of a three-run fifth inning that forced a 5-5 game going into sixth. The rest of the way was all Yellow Jackets, as they put up five runs in both the sixth and eighth innings to finish off Virginia.

In the second game of the series, Virginia reached that 40 win mark, crushing Georgia Tech, 16-3. Junior right-handed pitcher Derek Casey got the victory with eight strikeouts in seven strong innings of play.

The Yellow Jackets were deflated early, as the Cavaliers offense put up six first-inning runs and led 9-0 by the bottom of the second. Sophomore outfielder Cameron Simmons showed his plate ability with a strong three-hit and three-RBI outing.

The final ACC game of the regular season came down to the wire, tied 9-9 going into the top of the eighth inning. Virginia had a huge top of the fourth to lead by six, as the Cavaliers scored five runs — including a two-run bomb from junior first baseman Pavin Smith.

However, Georgia Tech would not be denied, as senior outfielder Coleman Poje hit a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth — leading a six-run inning to help the Yellow Jackets tie the game back up at nine.

A sacrifice fly from graduate designated hitter Robbie Coman brought junior outfielder Adam Haseley in to score at top of the ninth for Virginia, capturing the 10-9 victory and overall ACC series victory for the Cavaliers on Georgia Tech’s senior day.

Next up, Virginia will travel to Louisville, Ky. for the ACC Tournament as the No. 4 seed and will take on No. 5 seed Duke Thursday at 11 a.m.

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