THE FLATS – Georgia Tech had seven different players score a run with six of those Jackets scoring two or more runs on the night as the home team in gold beat up on the No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers for a 14-7 series opening win on Thursday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The win clinched a spot for the Jackets in next week’s ACC Baseball Championship and pushes the Jackets to 11-17 overall in the ACC moving them past Notre Dame (10-18) who lost to Boston College on Thursday night and into 10th-place in the regular season standings.
The top of the order in Wade Bailey (3-for-5, 2B, BB, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) and Trevor Craport (4-for-5, 2 2B, BB, 2 runs) combined to go 7-for-10 on the night. Bailey registered a career-high four RBIs and recorded his 200th career hit, while Craport matched his career-high with four base hits on the night.
The four and five hole hitters in Kyle McCann (0-for-2, 2B, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and Coleman Poje (1-for-3, BB, 3 RBIs) totaled three walks and five RBIs on the night, while Austin Wilhite (4-for-5, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) picked up his first career four-hit game in the win.
For Virginia, Jake McCarthy led the way as he was 2-for-5 with two home runs and three RBIs, while Adam Haseley went 4-for-5 with a home run, a double, two RBIs and a run scored.
Both teams pushed across a run in the first, as Virginia got a solo home run in the top half of the inning by McCarthy to go up 1-0, before the Jackets tied the game up with an RBI ground out by McCann in the bottom half of the opening frame.
Tech took the lead in the second, as A. Wilhite led-off the inning with a single through the right side, before Brandt Stallings followed with a double to put runners on second and third with no outs. Two batters later, Nick Wilhite drove in his brother on a ground ball to second to give the home team a 2-1 lead.
The inning continued as Bailey ripped a double down the left field line for his 200th career hit, which scored Stallings from third to push the Jackets’ lead out to two at 3-1 after two innings of play.
After a clean third inning, the Cavaliers scored on a sacrifice fly in the top of the fourth only to see the Jackets take advantage of a UVA error to get the run back on a double play ball up the middle to put the score at 4-2 heading into the fifth inning.
The scoring continued in the top of the fifth, as the Cavaliers hit back-to-back home runs, a two-run shot by McCarthy followed by a solo home run by Haseley, to give the lead back to the visitors at 5-4.
However, Tech swarmed back to retake the lead in the bottom of the sixth, as Stallings reached base on another Virginia error, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt and then advanced to third on a ground ball to the right sound of the infield.
With the miscue giving the Jackets a runner on third with two outs, the White & Gold took full advantage as Bailey hit an RBI single up the middle to drive in Stallings. Craport then capped a double off the end of the bat over the head of the first baseman to put runners on second and third.
An intentional walk to Ryan Peurifoy loaded the bases for McCann who drew an RBI bases loaded walk to score Bailey from third and add to Tech’s lead.
The inning continued as Poje hit a laser to center field to score two. A. Wilhite then singled up the middle, hustling down the line to beat the throw at first base from the diving shortstop behind the bag at second, to plate McCann and put the Jackets in front at 9-5.
Tech looked to add more runs to the lead in the same inning, as Stallings singled to right field. On contact, Poje left from second and rounded third on the play, but was thrown out at the plate despite leaping in the air to try to avoid the tag down the third base line.
Virginia pushed across a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly, before the Jackets blew the game wide open with another five-spot in the bottom of the eighth inning on a three walks, a Poje sacrifice fly, an A. Wilhite RBI single, two more walks with the latter coming with the bases loaded and a two-run single off the bat of Bailey to cap the frame and give GT a demanding 14-6 lead.
The Cavaliers plated another run in the ninth on an RBI double, before Tech hurler Bailey Combs induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the game with the Jackets on top 14-7.
Freshman starter Xzavion Curry (6-4) picked up the win, as he gave up five runs on eight hits and three strikeouts over 6.0 complete innings. Curry did not walk a batter on the night.
At the plate, the Jackets recorded 10 walks compared to just four strikeouts, while the Tech pitchers issued just two walks over the nine inning contest.
Georgia Tech (27-24, 11-17 ACC) and No. 8 Virginia (39-13, 16-12 ACC) will return to the diamond for game two of the three-game series tomorrow night at 6 p.m. for the Danny Hall Game. Saturday will be Senior Day and will begin at 12:10 p.m. with the senior recognition prior to the first pitch at 12:30 p.m.
* Georgia Tech is 16-4 on the season when recording a big inning for the contest (four runs or more).
* The 14-runs are the most by the Jackets since defeating Virginia Tech 13-3 back in game one of the doubleheader on April 21.
* In their last two games, the Jackets have scored 26 runs on 29 hits.
* Ryan Peurifoy had his hitting streak snapped at a career-high 18 straight games.
* With a base-on-balls Ryan Peurifoy has reached base safely in 19 straight games.
* Wade Bailey has now reached base safely in 23 straight games, a new career high.
* Wade Bailey extended his hitting streak to 13 straight games.
* Wade Bailey now as 200 career hits for the Jackets.
* Trevor Craport pushed his current hitting streak out to nine straight games.
* Coleman Poje added to his hitting streak making it four straight contests with a base hit.
* Coleman Poje has recorded six RBIs over the last two games.
* Wade Bailey drove in a career-high four RBIs in the win.
* Austin Wilhite posted a career-high four hits on the night.
* Trevor Craport tied his career-high with four base knocks for the contest.