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Virginia Baseball: Hoos take down Jackets 9-4, win series

Virginia puts up nine runs behind Alec Bettinger's complete game to win their eighth in a row and ninth out of ten.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

In Friday night's 6-3 win over the Yellow Jackets, Virginia's bats took a couple inning to get warmed up. On Saturday, there would be no such wait. The Hoos strung together five runs on five hits in the bottom of the first to take a 5-0 lead that would be all it would take to dispatch Georgia Tech.

On the mound, Alec Bettinger followed Connor Jones' lead ensuring that the bullpen would have another night off throwing Virginia's second complete game in as many nights. The third year right-hander threw his first career complete game and was tremendous giving up four earned runs on six hits, only one walk, and seven strike outs.

Virginia jumped on Georgia Tech quickly behind a single by Ernie Clement, walks by Matt Thaiss and Pavin Smith, and then a two RBI single Daniel Pinero. Back to back to back singles by Adam Haseley, Charlie Cody, and Jack Gerstenmeier scored three more Cavaliers and staked the Hoos to a 5-0 lead through only one.

The Hoos got two more in the third when Gerstenmeirer walked, stole second, advanced to third on Cam Simmons' infield single, and scored on Clement's bunt single RBI. Clement would score a couple batters later on Thaiss' RBI single to right. The inning could have been bigger, but just before Thaiss' at bat, Simmons was thrown out trying to score from second on Justin Novak's single up the middle.

The sixth inning saw another two runs scored for Virginia as Nate Eikhoff reached on an error and was brought home by Simmons' double to left center. Simmons would cross the plate when Novak delivered a single to center to cap Virginia's scoring.

Part of what made Bettinger's night so solid was his ability to limit damage and keep Georgia Tech from stringing together baserunners. Three of the Yellow Jackets' four runs all came on solo home runs, and only in the seventh did two Jackets manage to reach base in the same inning.

On the day Virginia totaled 17 hits, with each Hoo in the starting lineup registering at least one. Clement, Novak, and Simmons each had three hits while Pinero and Haseley added two apiece. Pinero led in the runs department with two RBI and Clement scored twice for the Hoos.

The win brings Virginia's record to 33-17 and 16-14 in the ACC. Currently the Hoos sit in fourth overall in conference and are guaranteed no worse than a tie for sixth. Nationally their RPI has risen to 10, which puts them firmly in the discussion to not only host a regional, but with another couple regular season wins and a strong ACC Tournament performance, the Hoos could snag a National Seed.

The Cavaliers and Yellow Jackets finish their three game series on Sunday at 12 p.m. Haseley will be on the mound for the Virginia as they look for their second ACC series sweep of the year.