Bats Roar Back To Life For No. 16 Virginia Tech Baseball In 11-1 Win Over Georgia Tech

Gehrig Ebel, David McCann and Virginia Tech lit up Georgia Tech on Friday in Atlanta. (Virginia Tech athletics)

Following an uncharacteristically cold series last weekend in Blacksburg, No. 16 Virginia Tech baseball’s bats came back to life in an 11-1 thrashing of Georgia Tech on Friday evening at Mac Nease Park in Atlanta.

After totaling 18 hits in three games against Wake Forest in their last series, the Hokies (22-8, 11-5 ACC) recorded 20 knocks against the Yellow Jackets (20-12, 5-8) — including four home runs — as every member of the starting lineup clocked in with a base hit.

It was the most hits in a single game for Tech since it had 23 last year against UMass-Lowell, and the most productivity in ACC play since 2017 against Boston College.

Six Tech batters recorded multiple hits while the quartet of Ben Watson, Carson DeMartini, David McCann and Chris Cannizzaro each had three or more. The team had a knock in each frame and scored in all but two innings, highlighted by Cannizzaro’s 4-for-5 day and McCann’s 3-for-5 effort with a pair of home runs and three RBI. Watson also increased his season avg to an incredible .393 with a 3-for-6 performance.

The offensive explosion was backed up by another quality start from true freshman ace Brett Renfrow, who tossed six innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts. He gave up seven hits and three walks, but induced two huge double plays, including a picture-perfect 6-4-3 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the third to preserve a three-run lead.

On the other side, Georgia Tech starter Aeden Finateri was shelled for 11 hits and seven runs while three of the Yellow Jackets’ four bullpen arms gave up at least two baserunners and a run. 

The scoring started early and often for the Hokies, who went up 4-1 after three innings, punctuated by a solo home run from Eddie Micheletti and a McCann RBI double. They put together their largest scoring output in the fifth as McCann launched a solo home run to straightaway center field, Christian Martin roped a ground-rule double down the left field line and Clay Grady skied a sac fly into right field to make it a 7-1 ballgame.

An inning later, back-to-back no-doubt solo home runs from the catcher duo of Gehrig Ebel and McCann seemingly put the game on ice for Tech, which suddenly found itself up by eight.

That’s when Jacob Exum took over for Renfrow on the mound and delivered perhaps the best outing of his career, tossing three near-perfect innings with three strikeouts on 39 pitches. The only baserunners he allowed were on a pair of hit by pitches, saving several potentially valuable arms for the next two games in the series.

Friday night’s performance was the type of comprehensive one that Tech frequented prior to being swept by Wake Forest. With productivity up and down the lineup combined with dominant starting pitching, it resembled the team that sat atop the Coastal Division after four ACC weekends and the antithesis of the one that was thoroughly bested at home last week.

The Hokies will aim to lock up their fifth ACC series win in six attempts on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET in Atlanta with Wyatt Parliament (3-2, 5.61 ERA in 33 ⅔ innings) getting the ball.

Box Score: No. 16 Virginia Tech 11, Georgia Tech 1 

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