April 11, 2014
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech pushed all five of its runs across in the first and senior Dusty Isaacs closed it out with two scoreless innings to lead the Yellow Jackets to a win 5-3 win over No. 1 Florida State at Russ Chandler Stadium Friday night.
Josh Heddinger took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and earned the victory for Jackets, who improved to 22-13 overall and 9-7 in the ACC with their seventh straight win. Tech has won five of its last seven games versus No. 1-ranked teams dating back to 2012.
Connor Justus had one of Tech’s six hits and his two-run single in the first inning was the big blow that ignited Tech’s largest crowd of the season of 2,681. The loss snapped the Seminoles’ nine-game road winning streak, which was the second-longest in the NCAA.
“That was a big first inning to put a crooked number up there on a really good pitcher,” said head coach Danny Hall. “I would have liked to have seen us get a couple more as the game went on, but he (Luke Weaver) settled in as most good pitchers do. But we made it hold up.”
Thomas Smith was hit by a pitch to load the bases and A.J. Murray drew a walk to score another. Justus saw eight pitches from Weaver in the next at bat his single to left on a 3-2 count made it 4-0. Keenan Innis’ chopper to the right side plated Tech’s fifth run, and a double play allowed Weaver to dodge further trouble.
The 5-0 cushion was good enough for Heddinger, who cruised through the FSU order to the tune of five hitless innings, five strikeouts, one walk and one hit batter. FSU would rally late, but Tech’s bullpen preserved the win for the junior, who improved to 2-1.
“Early on he was really good and took a no-hitter into the sixth,” said head coach Danny Hall of his starting pitcher. “I’m proud of his effort and that was certainly his best performance of the year.”
In the sixth, Danny De Le Calle’s lead-off single up the middle broke up the no-hit bid. Casey Smit followed next with a single to put runners at the corners for Gonzalez, whose RBI fielder’s choice made it 5-1 and ended Heddinger’s night.
Sam Clay emerged from the bullpen and yielded an RBI single to D.J. Stewart before escaping further trouble in the sixth. Gonzalez drew a bases-loaded walk in the next inning – the first run allowed by Clay in ACC play this year – to pull FSU within 5-3, but Stewart lined into an inning-end double play that ended the threat.
Isaacs worked around a lead-off double by John Nogowski in the eighth, and around a lead-off single by Ladson Montgomery in the ninth to nail down his third save.
Weaver was hung the loss (5-3) after allowing six hits and five runs over his seven innings. He yielded just two base runners after the second inning.
The series continues Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium at 2 p.m. The ACC Game of the Week can be seen live on the regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South, and on ESPN3.