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Jackets Split Friday Twin Bill at No. 6 NC State

March 23, 2018

Box Score – Game 1 

Box Score – Game 2 

– The Yellow Jackets behind a career day by starting pitcher Xzavion Curry and 15 base hits took game one of the ACC doubleheader 13-4, before dropping game two 5-2 to No. 6 NC State on Friday at Doak Field at Dail Park in Raleigh, N.C.

The split, which saw the Jackets’ offense explode in game one, but struggle in game two, drops Tech to 13-10 overall and 3-5 in ACC play. The Pack move to 19-4 and 6-2 in league play with the split.

We caught up with Xzavion Curry after his career day on the mound in the win over No. 10 NC State in game one today!#TogetherWeSwarm

— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) March 23, 2018

Game 1: Georgia Tech 13, No. 6 NC State 4

The Jackets scored six runs in the first and six runs in the ninth to lead from start to finish in a 13-4 win over No. 6 NC State in game one of the Friday doubleheader.

Curry (5-0) picked up the win to stay unbeaten on the season. The Tech ace allowed just one run on four hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high 11 batters over a 7.0 complete innings. He also threw a career-high 118 pitches.

He is the GT first pitcher to strike out 11 batters in ACC play since Buck Farmer struck out 11 versus Duke on March 31, 2012.

The start by Curry was his third quality start of the season and the fifth for the Jackets this year. Tech is 4-1 on the season when its starter makes a quality start.

Offensively, four different Jackets drove in two RBIs apiece in the win led by outfielders Colin Hall (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) and Nick Wilhite (3-for-5, 2 RBIs, run). Tristin English (1-for-5, 2 RBIs, run) had a two-run double, while Oscar Serratos (1-for-1, 2 RBIs) had a pinch hit two-run single in the ninth.

Tech hit .400 (6-for-15) with runners in scoring position for the game, as nine different Jackets had at least one base hit in the win.

The Pack’s Michael Bienlien (2-1) got the loss, as the Jackets knocked him out of the game in the first inning touching him up for six runs in only 0.2 innings of work.

At the plate, the Pack got two hits apiece from Josh McLain (2-for-4) and David Vasquez (2-for-3, RBI, run), while Will Wilson (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) drove in two runs in the ninth.

Georgia Tech got the bats started early as the Jackets sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the first, scoring six runs on six hits and two NC State errors to take a huge 6-0 lead after just one at bat.

Lead-off hitter Chase Murray hit the first pitch of the game off the left field wall for a double to start the big inning for the visitors in gray. Catcher Joey Bart followed with a single through the right side, going against the infield shift, to score Murray and get the Jackets on the scoreboard.

After Bart moved up to second on an error in right field off his base hit and then to third on a wild pitch, senior Wade Bailey hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield to plate Bart and double the Jackets’ lead to 2-0.

Following another ground out, the Jackets picked up a two-out single by first baseman Kyle McCann and then a double off the left field wall by Hall to score McCann all the way from first to push the Tech lead out to 3-0.

Shortstop Austin Wilhite was then hit by a pitch to put two runners on with two outs and bring up the eight and nine-hole hitters in Luke Waddell and Nick Wilhite. Waddell and Nick Wilhite delivered with hit back-to-back RBI singles with the later by Wilhite driving in two to give the visitors a 6-0 lead midway through the first.

Tech tried to blow the game open in the top of the fourth, as the Jackets loaded the bases with a Nick Wilhite infield single and back-to-back walks to Murray and Bart. However, the Pack were able to squash the inning with a 6-4-3 double play, which held Tech to just one run in the inning to put the visitors on top at 7-0.

Curry cruised through the first four innings, stranding a Pack runner in each of the first three innings, before striking out the side in the fourth.

In the fifth, Curry got a little help in the field from his East Cobb Yankee buddies in Nick and Austin Wilhite, as Nick Wilhite made a diving catch in center field for out number two, robbing the Wolfpack of a base hit, while Austin followed with a great play deep in the hole at shortstop to throw out the runner at first to end the inning.

NC State was able to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh, as the home team took advantage of two base-on-balls to get a two-out RBI single to center field by Vazquez to spoil the shutout bid for Curry and send the game to the eighth with the White and Gold in front at 7-1.

Not taking any chances, the Jackets added a few more insurance runs in the top of the ninth, posting another six-run frame highlighted by a two-run double by English, an RBI single by Hall and a two-run pinch hit single by Serratos to take a 13-1 lead to the final half inning.

The Pack scored three in the bottom of the ninth on four hits, a sacrifice fly and a two-run two-out single up the middle to put the final score at 13-4.

Curry and reliever Keyton Gibson (2.0 IP, 4 hits, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K) held the ACC’s leading offense to only eight hits, all of which were singles, to lead Tech to the win.

Andy Archer had a career-high 5 strikeouts in 3.0-scoreless innings in the nightcap on Friday night at NC State.

— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) March 24, 2018

Game 2: No. 6 NC State 5, Georgia Tech 2

NC State scored five runs in the fifth and held Tech to just five hits for the nine-inning contest to take game two 5-2 and earn a twin tilt split on Friday.

The Jackets registered only five hits in the nightcap, as Hall (2-for-2, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, SB) picked up two hits, while Bart (1-for-4, 2B, BB, 2B, run), Murray (1-for-5, run) and McCann (1-for-4) all had one hit for the game.

For NC State, Shane Shepard (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs) had a two-run home run, while Patrick Bailey (2-for-4, RBI, run), Evan Edwards (1-for-4, RBI) and Wilson (1-for-4, RBI, run) each had an RBI in the win.

Right-handed pitcher Johnny Piedmonte (3-0) earned the win, as he allowed just two hits and two walks, while striking out five over 6.0-scoreless innings of work, while Joe O’Donnell (4) earned the save with 1.1-scoreless innings.

Tech starter Connor Thomas (2-3) was given the tough luck loss, as the lefty surrendered five runs on nine hits, one walk and five strikeouts in 5.0 complete innings.

Out of the bullpen Andy Archer was superb, as the sophomore kept the game within reach for the Jackets throwing 3.0-scoreless innings, allowing one hit, while striking out a career-high five hitters.

After Thomas pitched around an error in the first, a pair of hits in the second, and a walk and two hits in the fourth, the Pack broke through in the bottom of the fifth to take their its first lead of the day.

The Pack put the first three hitters of the inning on base with infield singles, hitting the ball in just the right spots and beating the throws out at first. Thomas then got a bases loaded ground ball to shortstop, but the Jackets were unable to turn the double play and a run scored from third to put the home team in front at 1-0.

NC State followed with a single through the right side, the first ball to get out of in the infield in the inning, to score another run and put the Pack in front at 2-0. The next Pack hitter then hit a ground ball to third, however, Tech again was unable to get the double play turned which allowed a third run to score in the inning on the fielder’s choice.

With the inning going long, the next hitter in Shepard took advantage of a tired and frustrated Thomas to hit a two-run home run to right field to cap the five-run inning and put the Pack in front 5-0 after five complete.

The Jackets’ offense struggled to get going in the second game of the day, as the visitors in gray stranded two runners in the top of the second, one on base in both the fourth and sixth innings, and two more in the seventh to find themselves down 5-0 after seven innings of play.

In the top of the eighth, Murray led off the inning with a single up the middle, posting Tech’s third hit of the game. Bart followed with a double into the right field corner to score a racing Murray all the around from first base to get the White and Gold on the scoreboard and trim the Pack lead to four at 5-1.

Three batters later, Hall legged out a single to the left side of the infield to score Bart from third to put the Jackets down three at 5-2.

After Archer sent the Pack down in order 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the eighth, the Jackets put two runners on base and brought the tying run to the plate with no outs in their final at bat. However, a fly ball to right, a pop up to second and a deep fly out to the warning track in right field ended the game with NC State on top 5-2.

The Jackets left nine runners on base and were just 1-for-13 (.077) on the night at the plate with runners in scoring position.

The Yellow Jackets (13-10, 3-5 ACC) and No. 6 NC State (19-4, 6-2 ACC) will play the third and final game of the ACC series on Sunday, March 25, at 1 p.m.

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