No. 2 Virginia outlasts Georgia Tech in 11 innings to earn 40th win of season
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Branden Cogswell forced in the game-winning run in the 11th inning with a bases-loaded walk as No. 2 Virginia earned a 4-3 win against Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon. UVa (40-9, 20-6 ACC) came back three times from one-run deficits, including in the eighth and ninth innings, as the Cavaliers claimed their 11th consecutive ACC series win, dating to 2013.
Virginia earned its 40th victory of the season and now has won 40 games or more in nine of its last 11 seasons under Brian O'Connor. In clinching their 11th consecutive home ACC series win dating to April 2012, the Cavaliers improved to 13-3 in one-run games and 5-0 in extra-inning contests this year.
Cogswell had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI. He also drove in the game-tying run in the ninth inning to send the game to extra innings. Joe McCarthy homered as part of a two-hit day for UVa.
Virginia reliever Whit Mayberry earned the win and improved to 5-1 this year with three innings of relief; he allowed an unearned run and two hits while striking out three. UVa starting pitcher Josh Sborz worked six solid innings, giving up just an unearned, two hits and two walks while fanning five. Connor Jones worked the seventh and eighth innings, allowing a run on three hits.
Georgia Tech reliever Jonathan Roberts (0-2) took the loss after issuing three walks and recording one out in the 11th inning. Starting pitcher Devin Stanton fired six innings, giving up an earned run, five hits and three walks while striking out five. Reliever Dusty Isaacs allowed two earned runs and four hits in four innings of work.
The game started after a three-hour, 10-minute rain delay, and Georgia Tech struck quickly with an unearned run in the opening inning. After Mott Hyde reached on a one-out error, Thomas Smith doubled to left-center with two outs to bring in the run.
Virginia tied the game in the second inning when McCarthy led off with a home run into bleachers in right-center field. The blast was his fifth home run of the year.
UVa missed out on scoring chances in the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings, leaving runners in scoring position in each. In all, the Cavaliers left a season-high 16 runners on base.
Georgia Tech (29-22, 14-15) scored a run to take the lead in the eighth inning after Mott Hyde hit a leadoff triple to right and Matt Gonzalez followed with a sacrifice fly. UVa countered with a run in its half of the inning as Cogswell and Robbie Coman hit back-to-back singles to start the inning and after a John La Prise sacrifice bunt, Brandon Downes lifted a sac fly to right-center.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of a Virginia miscue to score in the ninth. With one out Brandon Gold reached on a Daniel Pinero fielding error. Gold moved to second on a Ryan Peurifoy sacrifice and scored on a double to left-center by Mitch Earnest.
UVa again responded in its half of the ninth. Derek Fisher stroked a leadoff single and then stole second base. McCarthy moved him to third on a groundout to second and after Kenny Towns walked, Cogswell hit a sac fly to left.
Virginia scored the winning run in the 11th inning. Pinero led off with a single up the middle and moved to second on a Fisher groundout. Pinero then stole third base on ball three of an intentional walk to McCarthy as Roberts failed to keep an eye on him. After the intentional walk was completed to McCarthy, Towns walked to load the bases, and Cogswell drew a four-pitch walk to force in the winning run.