March 13, 2015
TECH STARTERS: Spingola/CF, Smith/1B, Johnson/RF, Murray/DH, Gonzalez/LF, Bailey/2B, Gold/3B, Pabst/C, Justus/SS, King/SP.
DUKE STARTERS: Perez/2B, Phillips/LF, Dougherty/CF, Perez/DH, Rosenfeld/C, Zyla/RF, Bellinger/1B, Labosky/3B, Koplove/SS, Matuella/SP.
Georgia Tech scored the game’s final five runs, rallying to beat Duke, 5-2, Friday to open an ACC series at Jack Coombs Field in Durham, N.C.
Matthew Gorst fired 2.1 innings of scoreless, late-game relief to get the win after the Yellow Jackets struck for two in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the eighth.
With the win, Tech improved to 13-4 overall and 3-1 in the ACC, while the Blue Devils slipped to 13-4, 1-3. The Jackets have won eight of their last nine.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
With the game tied 2-2 in the seventh, Tech capitalized on a pair of Duke errors to take the lead for good. Wade Bailey reached on a one-out miscue by the pitcher and then swiped second.
With two away, Arden Pabst hit a high-chopper to the shortstop that slipped under his glove and dribbled into the outfield allowing Bailey to score as the go-ahead run.
Pabst swiped second and scored when Connor Justus laced an RBI single to right for a 4-2 lead.
Gorst matched his career-high with four strikeouts over 2.1 scoreless innings to improve to 1-2, and Zac Ryan dodged ninth-inning trouble to nail down his third save.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
Daniel Spingola and Kel Johnson each had multi-hit games for the Yellow Jackets, who pounded out 11 hits and reached the double-digit hit mark for the fourth straight game.
Johnson was 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games, while Spingola was 3-for-5.
Matt Gonzalez’s RBI double in the eighth tacked on insurance for Tech and extended his hitting to five games. He has doubled in all five games and homered twice in the streak.
Duke grabbed a 2-0 lead off Tech starter Jonathan King in the third and it remained that way until the sixth when the Jackets tied it. Thomas Smith’s RBI groundout scored Justus and Spingola sprinted home on a wild pitch.
King turned the 2-2 game over to Gorst with two outs in the sixth. King gutted out his 5.2 innings on the hill, allowing nine hits, but set a career-high with six strikeouts and no walks.
Duke flirted with a rally in the ninth, but Ryan retired three straight after a walk and single got the inning started.
Continuing to progress from an injury, Duke starter Michael Matuella was lifted after four scoreless innings. He allowed three hits with four strikeouts and no walk. The loss fell to reliever Nick Hendrix (1-1).
“Anytime you can win on the road in the ACC is big. It was key that we had some decent at-bats early against Matuella. We got his pitch-count up and he was on a pitch-count. They also gave us a little help too. We got some guys on and were able to make some things happen. King battled through it, and the important thing was he didn’t walk anyone. Gorst threw the ball well and Zac closed it out.”
— Head Coach Danny Hall
The Tech-Duke series continues Saturday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. First pitch is set for 1 p.m. and the game is live on ESPN3.