May 17, 2014
THE FLATS – Senior Mott Hyde finished 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI and three runs, leading Georgia Tech to a 12-5 rout of USF Saturday on Senior Day at Russ Chandler Stadium as the Yellow Jackets claimed the weekend series.
A.J. Murray had three hits and drove in four runs, while Connor Justus had two hits and knocked in three for Tech, which pounded out a season-high 19 hits. The Jackets end the regular season 32-24, including a 25-11 home record, and will open play in the ACC Tournament Tuesday in Greensboro.
“I thought we had some great at bats up and down our lineup and it was great that a lot of guys contributed,” said head coach Danny Hall. “We were better (offensively) yesterday and it’s definitely a good sign heading into Tuesday.”
Rookie Ben Parr was in control over six innings and the lefty scattered four hits with no walks and six strikeouts. A first-inning solo home run was the only damage, and he retired 12 straight after USF’s one-one, three-hit first inning. He improved to 5-3.
Murray and Justus delivered RBI singles in the bottom of the first as Tech gave Parr a lead, and Murray made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly in the third.
The Jackets sent nine batters to the plate during a six-run, five-hit frame in the sixth that blew the game open. ACC hits leader Daniel Spingola laced a two-run single to right, Justus added a two-run single and Hyde doubled in the inning.
Tech pushed across three more in the seventh as the lead the lead grew to 11-1. Senior reliever Jonathan Roberts earned a pinch-hit opportunity and legged out an infield single for his first career hit. Hyde, stepping to the plate for the final time, followed next by launching his third homer of the season down the left-field line.
“He’s been a great player for us for four years,” said Hall of his senior captain Hyde. “It’s certainly a nice way to go out and nice memory of your last game at Russ Chandler Stadium.”
A single from Thomas Smith preceded an RBI double that Murray hammered down the left-field line to cap Tech’s scoring.
USF rallied with four runs off Tech’s bullpen in the eighth, but senior Dusty Isaacs restored order by working a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to slam the door on the Bulls.
Hyde singled and scored in the first inning, doubled and scored in the fifth and homered in the seventh, extending his reached-base streak to an ACC-leading 34 games.
Ryan Peurifoy was 1-for-2 with a run to continue his six-game hitting streak. Smith, Arden Pabst and Eric Knox each had two hits for the Jackets. Prior to the game, Tech recognized its four graduating seniors – Hyde, Isaacs, Roberts and Mitch Earnest.
Tommy Peterson absorbed the loss (3-4) after allowing six hits and three runs in 2.2 innings. Luke Borders had two hits and an RBI for USF.
Tech is the ninth-seed in the 2014 ACC Baseball Championship, which begins Tuesday at NewBridge Bank Park. The Jackets will square off with eighth-seeded Wake Forest at 3 p.m. in a single-elimination game that can be seen on the ACC’s regional sports networks and ESPN3.