April 6, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball saw an early first-inning lead disappear as the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles outscored the Yellow Jackets 10-1 over the final eight innings of play to take the series opener 10-2 over the home-standing Jackets on Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
GT falls to 17-13 overall and 6-7 in the ACC with the loss, while the nationally ranked Seminoles improve to 24-7 and 8-5 in league play with the win. FSU has now won six-straight over the Jackets on the diamond.
Tech was held to just six base hits on the night, as shortstop Austin Wilhite (2-for-4) was the lone Jacket with multiple hits for the game. Catcher Joey Bart (1-for-4, HR, BB, RBI, 2 runs) and pinch hitter Michael Guldberg (1-for-1, RBI) drove in the only two runs for the Jackets in the contest, while Luke Waddell (1-for-2, BB) and Tristin English (1-for-4) both had a hit in their return to the lineups after missing Tuesday night’s game in Athens, Ga.
The Seminoles were led offensively by Cal Raleigh (2-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Nick Derr (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, run) and Jackson Lueck (1-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) who all had one extra base hit and multiple RBIs on the night.
Jackets’ starter Xzavion Curry (6-1) suffered his first loss of the season, as the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week gave up four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits, one walk and three strikeouts over 5.0-complete innings.
Florida State starter Cole Sands (6-1) earned the win, as the right-hander held Tech to just two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out eight over 7.0 innings of work.
For the 12th time this season, the Yellow Jackets scored in the first inning as Bart hit a monster home run to left field in the bottom half of the inning to put the home team on top 1-0 after just one inning of play. The home run was Bart’s team-leading ninth of the season.
After both teams combined to strand five runners on base in the second inning, Florida State with two and the Jackets with three, the Seminoles took advantage of a walk, a base hit and a Tech fielding error to tie the game up at 1-1 in the top of the fourth.
Following the fielding mishap, the very next FSU’s Derr hit a three-run home run to right field to push the visitors in front at 4-1 midway through the fourth.
While the Tech bats fell silent, going down in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, Florida State added to its lead in the top of the seventh on a two-run, two-out double by Raleigh to extend the lead to 6-1.
Tech put two runners on base in the bottom half of the seventh, yet stranded both runners to keep the score at 6-1 in favor of the Seminoles.
Not out of it yet, the Jackets scored one run in the bottom of the eighth on a Guldberg two-out pinch hit single to put the White and Gold down four at 6-2.
The next pinch hitter in Oscar Serratos drew a walk to load the bases and put the tying run at the plate. However, FSU got a strikeout to end the inning, escape the frame and take a 6-2 lead into the ninth.
The Seminoles added four more runs by way of a two-run home, an RBI single and a hit batter with the bases loaded in the ninth to cap off the 10-2 win.
With Bart’s home run, the Jackets have now homered in 22 of their 30 games this season.
The Jackets left nine runners on base, which included three in the second and three in the eighth, while Florida State stranded eight on the base paths.
The Yellow Jackets (17-13, 6-7 ACC) will host Florida State (24-7, 8-5 ACC) will play game two of the three-game series tomorrow night at 6 p.m.