March 25, 2018
RALEIGH, N.C. – Georgia Tech carried a 5-3 lead into the eighth inning, but saw the No. 6 NC State Wolfpack, the top offensive team in the ACC, score six runs in the bottom of the eighth to rally from behind and defeat the Jackets 9-6 on Sunday afternoon at Doak Field at Dail Field in Raleigh, N.C.
The loss drops Tech to 13-11 overall and 3-6 in a tight ACC, while the Pack move to 20-4 overall and 7-2 in league play with the win.
Offensively, starting pitcher and designated hitter Tristin English (2-for-5, 3 RBIs, run) led the way with three RBIs for the visiting Jackets, while Kyle McCann (2-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 runs) had a late home run in the loss.
While the top four hitters in the Pack lineup went a combined 8-for-19 with seven RBIs and six runs, led by cleanup hitter Evan Edwards (3-for-4, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs), the nine-hole hitter Dillon Cooper (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs) had a key two-run base hit in the eighth to help lead the Pack to the win.
In only his second career start on the mound, English surrendered just three runs on eight hits, no walks and five strikeouts in 5.0-complete innings in the no-decision.
The loss fell to Tech’s Jared Datoc (0-3), as the trusty reliever was touched for four runs on three hits and a walk in a 0.1 of an inning out of the bullpen.
The win went to NC State reliever Kent Klyman (2-0). The lefty, who benefited from the Pack’s six-run eighth, gave up just one run on one hit, McCann’s home run, while striking out three over the final 2.1 innings of the game.
The Jackets opened up the scoring in the top of the second inning, as a Pack fielding error, a balk, a walk and a bunt single loaded the bases for the visitors with no outs. However, Tech was able to plate just one run, as Pack starting hurler Brian Brown got the next GT batter to hit into a tailor-made 4-6-3 double play, which scored the run, and then got a pop out to third to end the inning.
English kept the high-powered Pack offense off track early, as the redshirt sophomore pitched around two hits in the first, two more hits in the second and one more in the fourth to keep the Jackets in front 1-0 after four innings played.
Georgia Tech picked up some insurance runs in the top of the fifth, as the Jackets took advantage of some well-placed hits, two NC State errors and a hit batter to bat around in the inning. The visitors scored four runs in the inning, highlighted by a bases loaded three-run single off the bat of English, to take a 5-0 lead midway through the fifth inning.
The insurance runs proved to be huge in the fifth, as the Pack got a three-run home run by Edwards in the bottom half of the inning to cut the Tech lead to two at 5-3 heading into the sixth.
After stranding two Jackets on base in the top of the eighth, the Pack’s Edwards trimmed the Georgia Tech lead to just one with a solo shot to right field, his second home run of the game, to put the score at 5-4 in favor of the Jackets.
However, following two ground ball outs, the Pack got a single and a walk to put the go-ahead run on first base for Cooper who doubled into the right field corner to score two and put the home team in front at 6-5.
NC State then followed with an RBI single by Josh McLain and a two-run home run by Brett Kinneman to push its lead out four at 9-5 going into the ninth.
Tech got one run back in its final at bat with a two-out solo home run to center field by McCann, but wouldn’t get any closer in the 9-6 road loss.
The Yellow Jackets (13-11, 3-6 ACC) return home to host Georgia Southern in non-conference play on Tuesday night March 27 at 6 p.m.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) March 25, 2018