April 11, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball had its winning streak over Georgia State snapped at 10-straight games on Wednesday night, as the Panthers defeated the Yellow Jackets 5-2 in midweek play at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Jackets, who were playing on back-to-back nights and their second of five games over a six-day period on Wednesday night, suffered their first loss to Georgia State since a 5-4 defeat to the Panthers in Panthersville back on March 7, 2012.
The two teams combined to use 15 pitchers on the night, Georgia State with seven and the Jackets with eight, with the two starters factoring in the decision as Tech’s Keyton Gibson (2-1) suffered the loss, while GSU’s Tanner Thomson (1-1) picked up the win.
Making his first start of the season on the mound, Gibson gave up two runs, both of which were unearned, on one hit, two hit batters, an error and a strikeout over 2.0-complete innings.
Thomson, who also went 2.0-complete innings on an announced staff day, allowed just two hits and one walk, while striking out three Tech hitters.
The Panthers’ Tyler Koch (2) earned his second save of the season with a scoreless 1.2 innings over the final two innings of play.
After pounding out 16 hits on Tuesday night in the road win at Mercer, the Tech offense recorded just six hits on Wednesday night two of which came off the bat of senior second baseman Wade Bailey (2-for-4, BB, RBI). Four other Jackets had one hit apiece, as all six of the Jackets’ hits were singles.
The Panthers, however, had four extra base hits on the night and were led by Will Kilgore (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs), Romero Greer (1-for-4, 3B, 2 RBIs) and Jack Thompson (1-for-1, RBI) in the win.
Georgia State got the scoring started early in the top of the first, as the Panthers took advantage of a two-out Georgia Tech throwing error to keep the inning alive. After a hit batter and a wild pitch moved both runners up to scoring position, the Panthers got a two-out, two-run double to left center field off the bat of Kilgore to put the visitors in front at 2-0 after just one-half inning of play.
The Panthers added to their lead in the top of the third on a lead-off double, a single up the middle and an RBI fielder’s choice to third base to push its lead out to 3-0 midway through the third.
Tech got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the third on a Bailey RBI single through the left side of the infield to cut the Panthers’ lead down to two at 3-1.
However, the Panthers responded with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth on a pair of singles followed by a two-out triple that just snuck inside the first base bag and down the line that plated two more runs for the visitors in blue and gray, extending their lead to four at 5-1.
With a little help from Georgia State in the bottom of the seventh, the Jackets were able to push across a run, as third baseman Luke Waddell reached base on an error by the first basemen and then scored three batters later on an errant throw on a failed pickoff attempt to put the Jackets down three at 5-2 heading into the eighth inning.
The White and Gold put the lead-off hitter on base in the bottom of the ninth on a single, but left Austin Wilhite stranded on second base to allow the Panthers to take home the 5-2 road win.
Tech left a total of 11 runners on base for the game and matched its season-high with 14 strikeouts on the night. The 14 strikeouts were a season-high for the Georgia State pitching staff.
The Jacket pitchers did not walk a batter for the game.
The Yellow Jackets (20-14, 8-7 ACC) will head north to take on ACC Coastal Division foe Pittsburgh (17-13, 6-9 ACC) for a three-game conference series this weekend, April 13-15.