March 28, 2010
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Derek Dietrich’s two-run homer capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning, and tied the game at 8-8, before the third-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (21-2, 8-1 ACC) scored three more in the 10th for an 11-8 win over No. 17 North Carolina (16-9, 2-7 ACC) Sunday afternoon at Boshamer Stadium.
The Jackets extended their win-streak to seven games, and swept North Carolina for the first time since the 2000 season.
It was the first time the Tar Heels had been swept at home since the 2003 season, and the first time Tech won all three in Chapel Hill since 1997.
“It was an awesome comeback, and a great comeback victory on the road,” head coach Danny Hall said. “Anytime you sweep on the road in the ACC you have to be very happy, and I am very proud of the way our guys played today.”
Dietrich had a career-high five hits and drove in three runs on the day, but it was hit number four with two-outs in the ninth inning that went over the wall in right-centerfield to tie the game at 8-8. Dietrich took the first pitch he saw from UNC reliever Greg Holt and sent it deep for home run number six on the season.
“It was an exciting come-back there in the ninth,” Dietrich said. “I didn’t want to do too much. I just wanted to get up there and get a good pitch I could hit hard, and he left something over the plate that I was able to drive over the fence.”
All five of Tech’s runs scored in the ninth came with two outs, as freshman Brandon Thomas started the rally with a triple off the wall in centerfield that scored Chase Burnette and Thomas Nichols. Junior Jeff Rowland singled to left field to cut the lead to 8-6 before Dietrich’s round-tripper. Rowland extended his hit streak to 10 games with the RBI.
The Jackets would get the go-ahead run in the 10th on a sac fly to center by Thomas that scored Matt Skole from third. Tech added two more runs on back-to-back singles by Rowland and Dietrich for an 11-8 lead, before senior Andrew Robinson closed out the game for the win in the 10th.
Robinson (3-0) won his third game of the year after holding North Carolina scoreless on just two hits in two innings of relief. He had the save in game one of the series on Friday.
“To our team’s credit, they never quit playing,” Hall said. “We have a lot of guys that can hit, and people have to make pitches at us for nine innings. We had a lot of chances early and couldn’t get the big hit, but finally got the hits we needed in the end.”
Tech compiled 18 total hits in the game. In addition to Dietrich’s five, Burnette had four of his own.
North Carolina pitcher Garrett Davis (2-2) was credited with the loss on the afternoon. Davies allowed all three runs in the 10th for his second loss of the season.
The Jackets fell behind 6-0 in the fourth frame after the Tar Heels brought home three runs on three hits off of starter Jed Bradley. Bradley was able to get out of the inning on a groundout but was lifted after surrendering six runs – five earned – in four innings. He struck out four but issued a career high four walks.
The Jackets couldn’t seem to bring runners home early on in the game, after leaving eight runners on base in the first five innings. Tech left two on in each inning from the second until the eighth. It wasn’t until Thomas’ single in the sixth that the Jackets scored their first runner of the game.
The freshman from Atlanta was 2-for-5 at the plate with a career-high four RBI.
Carolina extended the lead to 8-1 after Wierzbicki hit a two-run shot to left field off Tech reliever Zach Brewster.
An RBI double down the first base line by Skole, followed by an RBI single to right field by Nichols cut the lead to 8-3 in the seventh before Jackets rallied in the ninth.
Tech will play a mid-week game at Georgia State Tuesday, at 6 p.m., before playing at Kennesaw State Wednesday, at 6 p.m.