The Virginia baseball team wasn’t going let another potential ACC series victory slip way.
The Cavaliers blew open a close game with a six-run ninth inning en route to an 11-4 victory over No. 6 Georgia Tech on Saturday at Mac Nease Baseball Park in Atlanta.
The win gave Virginia (13-14, 6-12 ACC) its first ACC series victory of the season and its first road series triumph over a top-10 opponent since taking down No. 1 Miami in 2016.
The ninth inning surge was the biggest single inning output of the year for the Wahoos, who finished with 13 hits and 11 runs, both season-highs in ACC play.
Six Virginia batters had multi-hit performances, led by Zack Gelof, who went 2-for-6 with a home run and a game-high three RBI. Gelof’s solo homer in the seventh inning gave the Wahoos a 3-1 lead.
Devin Ortiz continued his recent hot streak at the plate with a 2-for-4 performance that included a two-run homer during Virginia’s six-run ninth inning. Ortiz has scored a run and reached base in seven-straight games for the Cavaliers.
Max Cotier drove in a pair of runs during his 2-for-3 afternoon. He plated the second Cavalier run of the game with a sacrifice fly in the seventh and came up with an RBI single to cap a two-run eighth inning.
That was more than enough run support for the UVa pitching staff.
Starter Mike Vasil pitched into the seventh inning and earned his staff-best fourth victory of the season. The right-hander gave up two earned runs while striking out nine battters in 6.2 innings of work to earn his fifth quality start of 2021.
Reliever Brandon Neeck came on in the seventh in a 3-2 game with the tying run on second base. He got Georgia Tech’s Luke Waddell to fly out to left to end the threat. The lefty has not allowed a run in 6.2 innings pitched this season.
After Nate Savino allowed three hits and one run while registering two outs to start the eighth inning, closer Stephen Schoch entered with Virginia holding a two-run lead. He struck out the final batter of the inning with the tying run on base. An unearned run came across in the ninth but Schoch was credited with his fifth save of the season.
The Cavaliers return home Tuesday for a midweek matchup against William & Mary before heading off to Clemson for a three-game series next weekend.
Virginia pitchers have limited ACC opponents to three or less runs in nine of 18 games.
Dating back to 2020 Vasil has eight quality starts in his last 10 attempts.
The Cavaliers have won four of the last five ACC series against Georgia Tech.