May 20, 2017
THE FLATS – The Jackets battled back from six runs down to tie the game up in the sixth and put the tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth only to see the No. 8 Virginia Cavaliers hold on to edge Georgia Tech 10-9 in the regular season finale and Senior Day at Russ Chandler Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The loss ends the Jackets’ regular season at 27-26 overall and 11-19 in ACC play.
The Yellow Jackets will be the No. 10 seed in next week’s 2017 ACC Baseball Championship in Louisville, Ky. on May 23-28. As the No. 10 seed, the Jackets will play in Pool C with No. 3 Wake Forest and No. 6 Miami.
Junior Wade Bailey had a career day for the Jackets in the regular season finale, as the lead-off hitter went 5-for-6 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Coleman Poje provided fireworks in the sixth inning with a game-tying grand slam, as he was 2-for-4 with a season-high five RBIs in his final game at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Cavaliers were led offensively by the top of their lineup, as the 1-4 hitters combined to go 9-for-16 with a home run, three doubles, four walks, seven RBIs and eight runs scored, highlighted by Pavin Smith who was 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, a walk and five RBIs.
For the second straight game, the Jackets found themselves down right from the start as Smith lined a bases loaded double to left center field to put the Cavaliers in front 3-0 in the top of the first inning.
Tech answered quickly in the bottom half of the inning, as Bailey led off the inning for the Jackets with a solo home run to left field, while Poje added a two-out RBI single later in the inning to cut the Cavaliers’ lead to one at 3-1 after one complete.
Both teams added a run in the second, as Virginia’s Justin Novak hit a solo home run in the top half of the inning, before a passed ball by the Cavaliers with the bases loaded in the bottom half of the frame allowed Innis to score from third and put the Jackets down one again at 4-3.
The Cavaliers recorded the first big inning of the game in the top of the fourth, as the visitors pulled ahead of the Jackets with a five-run inning, on two singles, a Tech error on a failed pick-off attempt, an RBI double, an RBI single and a two-run home run by Smith to take a big lead at 9-3.
After a double play ended their fourth and the Jackets stranded two in the fifth, the Tech offense broke through again in the bottom of the sixth, as the White & Gold plated six runs in the frame to tie the game up at 9-9.
Freshman Paxton Rigby led off the inning with his first career double and then advanced to third two batters later on a single by Nick Wilhite. With one out in the inning and the top of the order up, Bailey lined an RBI single to left field for the first run of the inning.
Two batters later, after Trevor Craport was hit by a pitch to load the bases, Peurifoy hit a line drive right at the left fielder for a sacrifice fly and run number two in the inning.
Following a pitching change and a walk to Kyle McCann to reload the bases again, Poje launched a 0-1 pitch to deep center field for a grand slam to tie the game up at 9-9.
With the game knotted back up heading into the seventh, the Jackets went to the bullpen for Jared Datoc, as the junior pitched back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the seventh and eighth to keep the game tied at 9-9 going into the ninth.
In the ninth, the Cavaliers took advantage of a lead-off walk and a single just out of the reach of the Tech first baseman to put runners on first and third with no outs. UVA then got a fly ball to right field to score the go-ahead run on the sacrifice fly to take a 10-9 lead.
A strikeout and ground out put the Jackets down to their final out in the bottom of the ninth when Bailey singled to left field to put the tying run on base. The next GT hitter just missed a 3-1 pitch and flew out to left field to end the game, as the Cavaliers escaped with the one-run win.
Senior Zac Ryan (3-4) suffered the loss, as he gave up a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth which proved to be the game winner. He gave up one run, on one hit and one walk, while striking out two.
The two teams combined to use nine pitchers in the game, Tech with five and UVA with four, while the two teams also combined to strand 17 runners on base.
Georgia Tech (27-26, 11-19 ACC) will now set its sights on the 2017 ACC Baseball Championship which will begin with pool play on Tuesday, May 23, in Louisville, Ky.
* Tech is 2-14 on the season when giving up a big inning (four runs or more) in the game.
* Ryan Peurifoy has reached base safely in 21 straight games.
* Wade Bailey has now reached base safely in 25 straight games, a new career high.
* Wade Bailey extended his hitting streak to 15 straight games.
* Wade Bailey recorded a career-high five base hits in the regular season finale.
* Paxton Rigby picked up his first career double in the contest.
* Connor Thomas made his first career start as a Jacket on the mound in the game.
* Coleman Poje drove in a season-high five RBIs in his final game on The Flats.