April 29, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball fell behind for the first time in the entire series on a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning by Wake Forest, as the Demon Deacons spoiled the Jackets’ sweep attempt with a 6-3 win in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Despite the loss, the Jackets took the 2-1 series win over the Demon Deacons in large part to the Tech pitching staff totaling 40 strikeouts over the three conference games.
The loss drops Tech to 24-21 overall and 11-13 in the ACC, while the win pushes Wake Forest to 20-25 overall and 11-13 in league play.
Following back-to-back complete-wins on Friday and Saturday, Sunday starter Tristin English (2-2) pitched well, but ran into trouble in the top of the fourth in the loss. He gave up three runs on four hits, two walks and six strikeouts over 4.0-complete innings.
It would be the bullpen that would get the win for the Deacons, as Rayne Supple (4-2) earned the win allowing just one run on two hits, five walks and four strikeouts over 3.2 innings of relief work. Fellow reliever Tyler Witt (2) picked up the save pitching the final 0.2 of the ninth.
At the plate, Tech had two players with two hits apiece in Luke Waddell (2-for-2, 2B, run), who left the game due to a leg injury, and Joey Bart (2-for-4), while sophomores Chase Murray (1-for-3, SF, BB, RBI), Kyle McCann (0-for-3, SF, BB, RBI) and Nick Wilhite (1-for-2, 2 BB, RBI, run) all had a one RBI apiece in the loss.
Senior Wade Bailey (0-for-3, BB, run) had his hitting streak snapped at 12-straight games.
For the Deacons offensively, Georgia native DJ Poteet (2-for-4, HR, 3 RBIs, run) and lead-off hitter Patrick Frick (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs) combined for five of Wake’s six RBIs in the win.
Wake Forest looked to take its first lead of the series in the top of the third inning, as the Demon Deacons loaded the bases on a lead-off double, a hit by pitch and an infield bunt single.
However, English spoiled the party with a strikeout and then a ground ball to the shortstop to strand all three Deacon base runners and keep the visitors off the scoreboard going into the bottom of the third.
The Jackets were not so fortunate in the fourth, however, as a walk and a single up the middle put two runners on base for the Deacons’ Poteet who blasted a 3-1 pitch over the batter’s eye in center field to give Wake Forest a 3-0 lead midway through the fourth.
Tech got one run back in the bottom half of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Murray and another in the fifth on a suicide squeeze play in which Nick Wilhite laid down a perfect bunt to score a sprinting Waddell from third to cut the Wake Forest lead to one at 3-2 after five innings of play.
Wake Forest answered the Jackets’ two runs with a pair of runs of its own on a two-run double to left field by Frick with two outs in the top of the sixth to push its lead back out to three at 5-2.
The Demon Deacons added a run in the top of the seventh on a two-out RBI single to left center field to extend the lead to 6-2.
Refusing to quit, the Jackets loaded the bases in the bottom half of the seventh with the help of a walk and back-to-back hit batters, yet scored just one run on a sacrifice fly ball to the wall in left center field by McCann to close the gap to three at 6-3.
The Jackets would strand three runners over their final two at bats to allow the Deacons to come away with the 6-3 road win.
Both teams left double-digit runners on base for the game, GT with 12 and Wake Forest with 11, however, Tech was just 1-for-12 (.083) at the plate with runners in scoring position for the contest.
Georgia Tech will be off until next weekend due to final exams. The Jackets will host Radford on May 4-6 at Russ Chandler Stadium.