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Jackets Down No. 13 NC State in ACC Opener

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball extended its win streak to six and downed No. 13 NC State, 8-5, behind lockdown pitching and three home runs on Friday night at Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets (13-4, 1-0 ACC) turned to veteran RHP Mason Patel to start ACC play and he kept the 13th-ranked Wolfpack (12-4, 3-1 ACC) to just two runs over the first four innings. Freshman RHP Tate McKee (2-1) then came in for 2.0 solid innings to get his second career win, surrendering just one run on two hits.

LHP Camron Hill then went the next two and only faced trouble in the ninth, loading the bases, before LHP Cam Jones slammed the door for his second save of the season.

At the plate, Tech used situational hitting to get on the board, getting an RBI groundout in the third inning from Trey Yunger to score Parker Brosius. Then in the fifth, freshman third baseman Carson Kerce hit his first collegiate home run on a 3-2, two-out pitch. Two batters later, freshman outfielder Drew Burress smashed his 11th home run of the season – a two-run shot – on a 0-2 pitch with two outs to go up 4-2.

The Jackets continued to do damage in the sixth as Payton Green launched a two-run homer to right field before Kerce and Yunger both drove in another run apiece.

Overall, Green led the way with a 2-for-4, two RBI day, while Yunger, Burress and Kerce all finished with two RBI on one-hit days. In addition to slamming the door on the mound, Jones also laced a double in the sixth to add to his line.

NC State was led by Garrett Pennington, who went 1-for-2 with a two-run homer in the third. RHP Sam Highfill (1-1) took his first loss of the season, allowing five runs on four hits in 5.0 innings of work.

Georgia Tech continues its series against NC State on Saturday, March 16. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.

Postgame Notes:

  • NC State was averaging close to 10 runs per game (9.7) and close to 12 hits per game (11.6) this season and was held to just five runs and eight hits on Friday night by Tech pitching;
  • True freshman 3B Carson Kerce hit his first collegiate home run on Friday night to go along with two assists including a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play with bases loaded;
  • True freshman OF Drew Burress continues to lead the ACC with his 11th home run and now has a gaudy 29 RBI on the year;
  • True freshman RHP Tate McKee has a 1.46 ERA and 2-1 record in his first six appearances and 12.1 innings of collegiate work;
  • Former John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year runner-up Cam Jones is once again working on another campaign, hitting .333 with 21 hits, six doubles and two home runs, while also holding a 3.27 ERA, 1-1 record and two saves through six appearances.

Multimedia:

Postgame Press Conference (Coach Hall, Carson Kerce)

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The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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