Early Lead Fizzles As No. 23 Jackets Fall To No. 2 Seminoles

April 7, 2012

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ATLANTA – Brandon Thomas and Thomas Smith each had three hits and No. 23 Georgia Tech was in control early, but No. 2 Florida State used a nine-run fifth inning to beat the Yellow Jackets 12-7 Saturday night on the Flats in front of a season-high crowd of 3,271.

Tech slipped to 19-13 overall, 6-8 in the ACC, while the Seminoles secured the series with the comeback victory, and improved to 26-5, 13-1.

With a career-best 3-for-5 effort, Smith extended his hitting streak to the first seven games of his college career, while Thomas went 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs to extend his streak of reaching base to 33 games, which includes the final two games of 2011.

Sophomore Dusty Isaacs gave the Jackets a gutsy effort over 4.2 innings, but watched as the 6-1 margin his offense built evaporate in the decisive fifth inning. The lead was wiped away for good when Jose Brizuela cleared the bases with a grand slam home run to right for a 7-6 lead.

The Seminoles went back-to-back to highlight the nine-run, five-hit fifth inning as pinch-hitter John Nogowski followed Brizuela with a solo shot to left.

It was all Yellow Jackets early as the offense pounded FSU starter Mike Compton for seven runs on five in two innings of work and gave the rookie his earliest exit of the season. Davies put the Jackets on the board first in the first inning as his RBI single scored Thomas, who reached on a triple.

Thomas and Lynch had RBIs for Tech in a four-run, three-hit third inning and Tech made it 6-1 in the fourth when Davies was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. But a key double play triggered by shortstop Justin Gonzalez on a hot-shot in the hole from Zane Evans allowed FSU to dodge further trouble and keep the deficit at just five runs.

Paul Kronenfeld ripped a pinch-hit RBI triple off the wall in left to make it 10-7, and the visitors tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the eighth.

Brizulea and Devon Travis each had two hits and four RBI for FSU.

Reliever Mack Waugh allowed six hits and a run over 4.1 innings and was in line for the win (3-0), while Josh Heddinger was hung the loss (1-4).

The teams each turned four double plays in the contest, marking the first time since the 2005 season that Tech hit into four double plays. It’s the second time this year that the Jackets have turned four twin killings.

The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium, and the game can be seen live on CSS and ESPN3.


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