March 17, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it wasn’t enough as the Jackets’ comeback bid fell just short in a 10-8 loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies in ACC play on Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The loss drops GT to 10-8 overall and 1-4 in ACC play. With the win, the Hokies move to 9-9 overall and 3-2 in conference play for the season.
Both teams posted double digit hits again on Saturday, however, the Hokies were more efficient in the runs column outscoring the Jackets 10-8 in the win.
The Jackets’ first four hitters in the lineup went a combined 8-for-17 with a home run, a double, one walk, six RBIs and seven runs, as junior catcher Joey Bart (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBIs, 2 runs) and sophomore outfielder Chase Murray (3-for-5, 2 runs) both had multi-hit games.
For VT offensively, five different Hokies had two hits apiece in the game, while JD Mundy (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Darion Jacoby (2-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and Jack Owens (1-for-5, 3B, 2 RBIs, run) all drove in a team-high two RBIs in the win.
Yellow Jackets’ starter Connor Thomas (2-2) was saddled with the loss, as the left-handed hurler surrendered five runs on 10 hits, while striking out two over 3.2 innings. Behind Thomas, the Jackets used seven different arms over the final 5.1-innings of the contest.
Virginia Tech senior Andrew McDonald (1-1) picked up the win in relief, despite the fact that he gave up six runs, five of which were earned, on eight hits and four strikeouts over 4.0 innings of work.
The save went to Nic Enright (2), as he faced the tying run at the plate not once, but twice and picked up back-to-back strikeouts to help seal the VT win.
Just like in Friday night’s contest, Virginia Tech took the lead first on an RBI double by Luke Horanski in the top of the third, only to see the White and Gold answer back with a run of its own on a sacrifice fly by Bart in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game up at 1-1 after three complete.
The next three innings would see the Hokies outscore the Jackets 9-1 and pull ahead for a 10-2 lead after six innings of play.
The visitors in black broke the game open with four runs in the fourth on an RBI single, a two-run triple and an RBI double, and then added two more runs in the fifth on a Mundy home run and a Jacoby sacrifice fly to take a 7-1 lead midway through the fifth.
After Georgia Tech got a run in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out RBI single by Tristin English to put the score at 7-2, the Hokies scored another three runs in the top half of the sixth on an RBI single and a two-run double with two outs to extend their lead to eight at 10-2.
The Jackets refused to throw in the white towel, as the home team cut into the Virginia Tech lead with a two-run home run to center field by Bart in the seventh to put themselves down 10-4.
With GT down six going into the ninth, senior Wade Bailey and Murray posted back-to-back singles to put two on with one out and bring the heart of the order up to the plate. Bart, English and Kyle McCann delivered, as Bart doubled through the right side against the shift to score one, while English hustled down the line on a chopper to the shortstop to force an errant throw and allow two more runners to score to put the home team down just three at 10-7.
McCann then singled to left field to drive in English and put the Jackets down two at 10-8. However, the next two batters would strike out to strand McCann on first and allow the Hokies to escape with the two-run win.
The Jackets stranded eight runners on base for the game, while VT left nine on for the contest.
The rubber match for the three-game series is set tomorrow for 1 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) March 17, 2018