April 22, 2017
BLACKSBURG, Va. – Two home runs off the bat of lead-off hitter Wade Bailey, a strong 6.2 innings out of the bullpen and two great catches in the outfield over the last two innings of play led Georgia Tech to a 6-4 win over Virginia Tech in the third and final game of the ACC series on Saturday afternoon in Blacksburg, Va.
With the win on Saturday, the Jackets took the ACC series win over the Hokies having taken game one on Friday morning by a score of 13-3. The series win is the seventh straight for the Jackets over the Hokies dating back to 2011.
At the plate, Bailey was 2-for-5 with two home runs, three RBIs and two runs scored. Clean up hitter Kel Johnson went 2-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, while outfielder Ryan Peurifoy went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Sophomore hurler Keyton Gibson was cruising through the first two innings for the Jackets on the mound before the 90 minute weather delay threw him off and forced him out of the game in the third inning.
Reliever Jake Lee (2-2) entered the game in the third and pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up just two hits and one walk, while striking out one to earn the win.
The save went to Jared Datoc (1), his first career save as a Jacket, as he threw the final 3.0 innings in the win. The junior gave up one run on four hits and one walk, while striking out two on the mound.
The Hokies were led by Matt Dauby who was 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBIs, while Nick Anderson (2-for-4, run) and Ryan Tufts (2-for-4) each had two hits in the loss.
Bailey got the game started off on the right track for the Jackets, as the junior second baseman hit the second pitch of the game over the left field wall for his third home run of the season to put the visitors in front at 1-0 just one batter into the game.
Bailey and the Jackets stung again in the top of the third, as the junior followed a Peurifoy single to third with another home run, his second of the game and fourth of the season, to push GT in front by three at 3-0.
GT added a run on a Johnson RBI double later in the inning to give the Jackets a 4-0 lead before a lightning strike off in the distance warranted the umpires to wave all the players off the field for safety precautions.
After a 90 minute delay due to rain and lightning, the momentum shifted as Georgia Tech stranded Johnson on second, while Virginia Tech scored three runs in the bottom half of the third inning to trim the GT lead to one at 4-3.
The Hokies started the inning off with a single to third base and then cut the Jackets’ lead in half with a two-run home run by Dauby to put the score at 4-2 in favor of the visitors. VT then took advantage of two hit batters and a single to load the bases for a fielder’s choice RBI by Sam Fragale to close the gap to just one at 4-3 after three complete innings.
The Jackets loaded the bases in the top of the fifth on back-to-back infield singles by Joey Bart and Johnson, and a walk to Coleman Poje before a throwing error to the plate by the VT pitcher on a chopper back to the side of the mound off a check swing by Chase Murray allowed two runs to score for GT to push the Jackets’ lead out to three at 6-3 midway through the fifth inning.
The Tech bullpen would strand three VT base runners over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, before the Hokies plated a run in the bottom of the eighth on a bases loaded sacrifice fly to the wall in left field to cut the GT lead to two at 6-4.
The defensive play by Murray on the sacrifice fly proved to be huge, as the freshman made a leaping catch on the long line drive to make the extended grab at the wall to rob an extra base hit and save at least one more run for the Jackets on the outstanding defensive play.
Another big defensive play in the ninth, a diving catch by Poje on a ball hit to shallow right field with a runner on base, ended the game as the Jackets held on for the 6-4 road win.
Georgia Tech (20-19, 6-15 ACC) will return home to host the Georgia Bulldogs for a #THWG Gold Out on Tuesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. ET at Russ Chandler Stadium.
* With the series win this weekend, Georgia Tech has won seven straight series over the Hokies dating back to 2011.
* Georgia Tech is 9-5 on the season when scoring in the first inning.
* The Jackets are now 14-7 on the year when scoring first in the contest.
* Wade Bailey recorded the first two home run game of his career with a home run in each of his first two at bats.
* Kel Johnson has now reached base safely in a season-high 19 straight contests with an RBI double in the third inning.
* Ryan Peurifoy continued his hitting streak, pushing it out to seven straight games with a base hit in the third inning.
* Jared Datoc recorded his first career save as a Jacket in the win.