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Jackets Prevail over No. 10 FSU in Rain-Extended Series Finale

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – After a 21-hour weather delay facing a 7-6 deficit, Georgia Tech baseball rose to the occasion to score five runs over two lead changes in the final two innings to down No. 10 Florida State, 11-10, on Saturday afternoon at Dick Howser Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets (31-21, 15-15 ACC) resumed the game on Saturday with two outs in the seventh inning, runners on first and second, and RHP Brett Thomas (4-1) on the mound. Thomas got a huge strikeout to end the inning and get Tech back to its bats.

Once in the eighth, Vahn Lackey drew a one-out hit-by-pitch to set up freshman Drew Burress’ 22nd home run of the season – and one of his most clutch – as the two-run shot gave Tech the lead. Matthew Ellis then sent a 0-1 pitch across the street to add another run.

But the 10th-ranked Seminoles (39-14, 17-12 ACC) wouldn’t go away quietly as they continue to vie for hosting and ACC Tournament seeding. They scored three themselves in the bottom half to retake the lead 10-9. Burress tied the Georgia Tech record for most assists in a single season by an outfielder by throwing out the runner from second at home on a base hit up the middle to end the eighth inning (9, three times – last Matt Gonzalez in 2014).

As if the game hadn’t been thrilling enough, Bobby Zmarzlak hit a leadoff double in the top of the ninth before Mike Becchetti drew a seven-pitch walk. With the infield in, Carson Kerce slash bunted back to the pitcher, Yoel Tejeda, Jr., who snagged it out of the air. But while going to throw to third base to get Zmarzlak as the lead runner, Tejeda slipped and the throw was off target, allowing Zmarzlak to score and runners to advance with the game tied.

Lackey then smoked a ball deep to right field to drive home Becchetti on the sacrifice fly.

With the 11-10 lead, Tech turned to redshirt freshman RHP Riley Stanford, who, on the first pitch forced a fence-scraping fly out to straight-away center, before getting out two on three-pitches and a 97-mph fastball to put away McGwire Holbrook. The final out of the game came the next batter on a 1-0 fly out to right field to give Stanford his first career save.

Overall across the two-day game, Ellis led the way with two hits and two RBI. Cam Jones hit a bases-loaded double in the fourth to drive in three runs, while Burress, Parker Brosius, John Giesler and Zmarzlak all finished with a hit apiece.

Florida State was led by Jaime Ferrer, who went 3-for-5 with two RBI. Tejeda (1-2) received the loss, allowing five runs on five hits in 0.1 innings of work.

Georgia Tech will now await both final ACC Tournament seeding, which the conference will announce later on Saturday, and tournament schedule, which will be announced on Sunday morning.

Postgame Notes:

  • Georgia Tech finishes the regular season 31-21 and 15-15 in the ACC;
  • Georgia Tech finishes the regular season with six ACC series this season, more than any team in the conference other than Clemson (8) and North Carolina (7);
  • Georgia Tech has 14 combined Quad 1 and 2 wins, placing it seventh among ACC Tournament teams;
  • Georgia Tech ranks top 25 nationally with 14 Quad 1+2 wins
  • Georgia Tech played four Top-15 RPI (four top-10 KPI) road ACC series, more than any team in the conference.

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