Baseball failed to get the sweep of Virginia Tech today as the Hokies' Devin Burke threw eight innings of two run ball.
Georgia Tech's bats settled down today in Blacksburg, but it certainly wasn't for lack of effort. Virginia Tech's Devin Burke channeled Buck Farmer today by throwing eight innings of shutdown baseball, at one point sitting down 20 of 24 Jackets faced and retiring 21 Tech players overall. Of his eight innings, five were 1-2-3 showings. This made the Jackets get agressive with the bats, but they couldn't produce and only had seven hits. Georgia Tech was averaging 13 hits per game before today, just to put in perspective the kind of outing Burke had.
The game got off to a promising start for Georgia Tech with three leadoff singles, one of which was a RBI by Brandon Thomas. Tech was up 1-0 early, and things were looking on-track for a team that had scored 10 or more runs in its last nine games. The game quickly turned into a pitchers duel, however, and there was only one run scored in innings two through five. The bottom of the sixth was where the game was really won for the Hokies when they put up four runs off five hits. The bulk of this scoring hullabaloo came from a three run homer hit by Brendon Hayden via the hand of Cole Pitts, his last pitch of the day. Jared Jilson then came in and would've retired the side save a HBP issued to Chad Morgan, who scored on a Sean Keselica single. After finally getting the sixth inning out of the way, the Jackets brought in DeAndre Smelter who also gave up a single run in the bottom of the eighth to round out the VT scoring on the day. Tech only scored once more after their first inning hit streak (and only got eight more baserunners to boot), courtesy of a Brandon Thomas single and a Daniel Palka RBI double in the top of the ninth.
Tech gave a characteristic good effort but fell victim to a crafty pitcher and a little impatience at the plate. They made contact after three pitches or less in at least half of their ABs (it could be more but because of the way I keep score I don't have pitch counts handy), which is odd considering they were so patient at the plate yesterday. Regardless, Georgia Tech won its first ACC series to against a good Virginia Tech team and should be geared up for action when they come home to the Rusty C to play Boston College next weekend.