April 24, 2005
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The Virginia Cavaliers (29-13, 9-10 ACC) put the finishing touches on a three-game Atlanta Coast Conference series sweep over the #4 ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (30-10, 16-5 ACC) with a 2-1 victory in the third and final contest of a three-game series at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium. The Cavaliers broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the fifth inning when Virginia's Kyle Werman dropped a RBI-single down the left field line to score teammate Scott Headd from second base to lift the Cavaliers to the one-run victory. As it did all series long, UVa's pitching staff held the Yellow Jackets' bats quiet and gave up just one run in the final game of the series while allowing only five runs for the entire three-game series. Virginia's pitchers struck out a combined 28 Georgia Tech batters for the weekend - including 25 in the first two games of the series.
The Cavaliers' closer Casey Lambert posted his 10th save of the season (a UVa school record) in the 2-1 win. With his 10th save this year, Lambert also tied the Virginia school record of 18 career saves in just his second year of competition.
Virginia's sweep over Georgia Tech marked the second consecutive season the Cavaliers swept the Yellow Jackets. Last year, UVa swept GT three games to none on March 12-14, 2004 in Atlanta, Ga. which marked the first time in Virginia baseball history that the Cavaliers swept the Yellow Jackets in a three-game series. UVa, which had never won more than four consecutive games against Georgia Tech in baseball prior to this weekend's series, has now won six consecutive games against the Yellow Jackets.
"I couldn't be prouder of our team. The entire team showed a tremendous amount of poise this weekend," said UVa head baseball coach Brian O'Connor. "Georgia Tech has an excellent ballclub that is very well coached. Our pitching staff really rose to the occasion the entire weekend. That's really the story. They quieted the [Georgia Tech] bats and one of the most potent offensive lineups in college baseball. Our guys on the mound challenged them and fortunately we had a lot of success."
UVa scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the second inning and took a 1-0 lead when Brandon Guyer doubled down the left field line before scoring a run two batters later on a RBI-double by Scott Headd.
Georgia Tech tied the game at 1-1 in the top of the fifth inning when Danny Payne's RBI groundout on a fielder's choice plated Andy Hawranick from third base on the play to knot the score at one apiece.
But in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Cavaliers came right back and scored a run of their own to regain the lead at 2-1 when Headd scored on Werman's RBI-single. UVa's game-winning run was manufactured when Headd singled to reach base before Mike Campagna moved him to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Headd then scored the game-winning run in Virginia's next at-bat on Werman's single.
That would be all the scoring UVa would need to complete the three-game sweep over the Yellow Jackets as a trio of Cavalier pitchers (Robert Poutier, Sean Doolittle and Lambert) did the rest. The first-year duo of starter Poutier (5.0 innings pitcher, four hits, one run, one strikeout) and Doolittle (3.0 innings pitched, no runs, three hits, two strikeouts) combined for 8.0 innings and allowed just one run on seven hits and struck out three batters before Lambert took the mound to pitch a scoreless inning in relief to close out the game. He increased his school record for most saves in a single season (10) and posted his 18th career save - tying the school career record mark with former Cavalier pitcher Tim LaVigne (1997-2000). Poutier (3-1) picked up his third win of the season in his first ACC start.
Georgia Tech's Blake Wood (7-1) suffered his first loss of the season after going 7.2 solid innings. Wood allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out one batter.
With the victory, Virginia's record improves to 29-13 overall, 9-10 in the ACC. The loss drops Georgia Tech's record to 30-10 overall, 16-5 in the conference. UVa won the series three games to none.
Virginia will return to home action on Wednesday, April 27th when the Cavaliers host the William & Mary Tribe in a non-conference game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 PM at Davenport Field at the UVa Baseball Stadium.
-- UVa --
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A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.
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