A bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eleventh inning gave the top-ranked Virginia baseball team a 4-3 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday at Davenport Field. The extra-innings win clinched the series for the Cavaliers, their eleventh consecutive ACC series win.
UVa starting pitcher Josh Sborz worked six innings, giving up just two hits and striking out five batters. Whit Mayberry earned the win, giving up no earned runs in three innings. Connor Jones went two innings for UVa, giving up three hits and the only earned run of the night by the Yellow Jackets.
Joe McCarthy went 2-for-4 for UVa, including a solo home run in the second inning that tied the game at 1-1. The score stayed that way through the top of the eighth, when the Yellow Jackets took a 2-1 lead, scoring on a sac fly by Matt Gonzalez after a leadoff triple by Mott Hyde.
The Cavaliers responded in their half of the eighth inning. Brandon Downes hit a sac fly to score Branden Cogswell and tie the game once again. Cogswell finished the day 3-for-4 with two RBI.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of a UVa 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 hit 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.
The 'Hoos 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. 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.
With the win, UVa improves to 40-9 on the season and 20-6 in the ACC. The Cavaliers have now won 40 or more games in 9 of last 11 seasons.
The series against Georgia Tech concludes Sunday at 12 p.m. at Davenport Field.