May 15, 2014
THE FLATS – Thomas Smith had two hits and Josh Heddinger yielded just one run over five innings, but visiting USF beat Georgia Tech, 8-0, at Russ Chandler Stadium Thursday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Jimmy Herget pitched seven shutout innings and helped guide the Bulls to their 26th win (26-27). The Yellow Jackets slipped to 30-24.
USF scratched a run off Heddinger in the third inning, and Herget dodged trouble in the second, fourth and sixth as Tech left runners stranded in scoring position each inning. Tech was limited to seven hits and left eight runners on base.
The hosts attempted to pull even in the fourth after Mott Hyde led off with a walk and moved to second with Matt Gonzalez’s bunt. Smith delivered a sharp single to right and Hyde sprinted home. The play at the plate was close, but Hyde was ruled out on Luke Maglitch’s throw from the outfield.
A three-run sixth inning expanded USF’s lead to 4-0 and the hosts put the game on ice with a four-run seventh. Zac Gilcrease finished 2-for-5 with three RBI and Kyle Teaf drove in a pair for the visitors.
Tech threatened again in the bottom of the seventh by loading the bases with no outs thanks to an A.J. Murray walk and consecutive singles from Connor Justus and Ryan Peurifoy, but Herget weaseled out of trouble again.
The sophomore, who brought a 1.38 ERA into Thursday’s game, improved to 7-6 by fanning nine over seven innings. Jordan Stritmatter and Janick Serrallonga each tossed scoreless frames to hand Tech its first shutout at home since 2006.
Heddinger turned a 1-0 deficit over to his bullpen after five innings, allowing four hits with five strikeouts. The junior slipped to 3-4 with the tough-luck loss.
Hyde, who reached base twice via a walk and hit-by-pitch, extended his reached-base streak to 32 games – the longest in the ACC. Tech rolled up its NCAA-leading 63rd double play in the second inning.
The series continues Friday night at 7 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.