April 15, 2018
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Yellow Jackets and Pittsburgh Panthers played a back-and-forth affair on Sunday afternoon, with the Panthers scoring last in the 6-5 win over Georgia Tech in the series finale at Charles L. Cost Field in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The win gave the Panthers the series win over the Yellow Jackets, ending Tech’s streak of series victories at two-straight.
Offensively, Tech had just seven hits on the day, highlighted by sophomore Chase Murray (2-for-5, 2B, run, RBI) and senior Wade Bailey (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, run) who each had an RBI in the loss. Shortstop Austin Wilhite (1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, run) drove in two RBIs with a two-run home run in the fourth.
For the Panthers at the plate, their top four hitters went a combined 8-for-18 with a home run, a double, two walks, five RBIs and five runs scored in the home win. Outfielder Frank Maldonado (2-for-3, HR, BB, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) had what proved to be the two-run home run in the seventh inning.
The loss fell to Tech’s Micah Carpenter (0-1), as the junior reliever gave up two runs on two hits over 0.2 innings of work.
Pitt’s Kevin Henriksen (1-2) picked up the win, allowing just one run on three hits, a walk and a strikeout over 3.0 innings out of the bullpen on the day.
Riding high from the 14-inning walk-off win last night, the Panthers took a 2-0 lead over the first three innings of play with an RBI double in the first and an RBI single in the second.
After going down in order in each of the first three innings, the Jackets broke out in the top of the fourth started by back-to-back singles by Murray and Joey Bart. Following a walk to Kyle McCann, starting pitcher and designated hitter Tristin English hit into a 6-4-3 double play but was able to plate Murray from third to put Tech on the scoreboard.
With two outs and a runner on third, the next two Tech hitters came up big as Bailey hit an RBI bloop single to right field to score Bart and tie the game up at 2-2.
Wilhite, the reigning ACC player of the week, then sent a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall for his second home run of the series and fifth home run of the season to give the White and Gold a 4-2 lead midway through the fourth inning.
Refusing to go away, the Panthers answered back two innings later with two runs in the bottom of the fifth on two-straight RBI singles to knot the game back up at 4-4.
The play of the day came in the fifth, as the Panthers had the bases loaded with one out and looked poised to take their first lead of the game on an Alex Amos line drive towards right field. However, Bailey made a leaping catch at second base to snag the line drive out of the air and then double up the runner on first to get Tech out of the inning without further damage.
Tech retook the lead in the top of the seventh on an RBI double off the center field wall by Murray, only to see the back-and-forth scoring continue with Pittsburgh’s Maldonado hitting a two-run home run to left field in the bottom half of the inning to put the Panthers in front by one at 6-5.
The Jackets put both the tying and go-ahead runs on base in the top of the eighth, yet saw a ground ball down the third base line lead to a force out at third to get the lead runner and keep the Panthers on top in the 6-5 win.
The Yellow Jackets (21-16, 9-9 ACC) return home to host Kennesaw State (21-15) on Wednesday, April 18, at 6 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.