May 27, 2011
DURHAM, N.C. – Freshman Mott Hyde stole home in the top of the 15th inning for the eventual game-winning run in a 6-5 victory for No. 3 seed Georgia Tech over seventh-seeded NC State Thursday night at the 2011 ACC Baseball Championships at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The Yellow Jackets’ victory was their 40th of the season, making it the 22nd year that the team has reached the 40-win plateau. It came at the expense of the longest game in school history, a five-hour, seven minute contest that set an ACC Tournament record with 15 innings and ended at 12:32 in the morning. It also kept the Jackets hopes of advancing out of the bracket alive.
After reaching on a double to left field earlier in the inning, Hyde advanced to third base on a groundout by sophomore Sam Dove.
With sophomore Brandon Thomas at the plate and a 1-1 count, Hyde pulled the improbable steal with two outs on NC State reliever Jonathan Ogburn’s wind-up. The freshman second baseman beat the throw to the plate, sliding in front of Wolfpack catcher Pratt Maynard to put Tech up 6-5.
Freshman Matthew Grimes (7-3) wrapped a pair of groundouts around a walk and a strikeout, to end the game in the bottom half of the 15th inning for his seventh victory of the season. Grimes’, Tech’s midweek starter, was the final of seven Tech pitchers that worked out of the bullpen in relief of starter Jed Bradley. He tossed two scoreless innings after entering to start the 14th frame.
Ogburn (6-4) was credited with the loss after yielding the one run on two hits over three innings of relief.
Both teams traded a run in the first inning, with Tech starting the scoring on a RBI groundout from junior Matt Skole to score freshman Kyle Wren before the Wolfpack tallied a run on a fielding error by freshman Mott Hyde in the bottom half of the inning.
Skole broke the tie in the sixth inning with a deep home run over the 400-ft sign in centerfield against NC State starter Rob Chamra, giving Tech a 2-1 lead. It was Skole’s ninth blast of the season and the 46th of his career, tying him for sixth place in the record books with K.G. White (1985-88).
Skole led both teams at the plate, going 3-for-7 with the round-tripper and two RBI.
After the Wolfpack went to the bullpen to bring in lefty Grant Sasser later in the inning, freshman Zane Evans stepped up with bases loaded and two outs. Evans singled up the middle to score a pair of runs with two outs and push the lead to 4-1.
Bradley had retired 10 consecutive batters after allowing a walk in the third inning. The Wolfpack strung together three consecutive singles against the lefty in the bottom half of the inning however, cutting the lead to 4-2 on Matt Bergquist’s RBI knock to left field.
Sophomore reliever Clay Dalton ran into trouble in the seventh inning, walking the first three NC State batters to load the bases. The Wolfpack would tie the game two batters later on a fielding error by Jacob Esch on a grounder by left fielder Cameron Conner.
Harold Riggins would ground out to shortstop on the next at-bat to score a runner and give the Wolfpack a 5-4 lead.
Evans would tie it in the top half of the eighth inning with a 2-out bloop single to centerfield that scored Dove.
The Tech bullpen would hold strong, allowing just three hits over the next eighth innings to bridge the gap. Georgia Tech’s eight total pitchers tied the ACC Tournament record with 18 strikeouts.
Tech will close out bracket play with No. 3 seed Florida State on Friday at 3 p.m. The Jackets need to defeat the Seminoles, and hope for an NC State victory over Clemson on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s Championship game.