Virginia Tech defeated Georgia Tech 3-2 on Friday afternoon to advance to Sunday’s ACC Championship Game. The win moved the Hokies to 38-19 overall, while the Jackets dropped to 34-25.
The Hammerin’ Hokies are officially one of the hottest teams in baseball. With Friday’s win, they have now won eight games in a row, 13 of their last 14, and 16 of their last 18. They are a lock for at least a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, and now have an outside shot at hosting a regional as a #1 seed.
Chad Pinder once again provided a big bat for the Hokies. He scorched his third homer in as many days, this time opposite field over the right field wall to tie the game at one. Later he provided the game-winning sacrifice fly.
However, it was Virginia Tech’s pitching that continued to be the story. Devin Burke went 7.2 innings, surrendering just one earned run on seven hits. He walked just one batter and struck out four. He ran his record to 10-3, and his 10 wins are tied with NC State’s Kent Emanuel for the most wins in the ACC this season.
VT closer Clark Labitan pitched the last 1.1 innings to record his 10th save of the season. He did not a allow a baserunner, and he coaxed a popup with a runner on second base in the eighth to end Georgia Tech’s final threat of the game.
Over their last 18 games, the Hokies have beaten UVA (#3 RPI) three times, Florida State (#9 RPI) once and Georgia Tech (#22 RPI) once. VT was #11 in the RPI (according to WarrenNolan.com) heading into Friday’s game, and they could potentially move into the top 10.
Tech still has an outside shot at hosting an NCAA regional, and their chances would improve with a Clemson loss to UNC tonight.
The Hokies will play either UNC or NC State for the ACC Championship on Sunday afternoon. #1 starter Joe Mantiply will get the ball. First pitch is scheduled for 1pm, and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.