ATLANTA (March 19) – Junior right fielder Brad Stockton scored from third on a throwing error by Matt McCay with one out in the ninth, as No. 24 Georgia Tech defeated second-ranked North Carolina 8-7 at Russ Chandler Stadium, sweeping the three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series.
With the score knotted at 7-7, Stockton led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error by first baseman Ryan Earey, which allowed him to advance to second base. After Richard Lewis struck out, Tar Heel reliever Derrick DePriest intentionally walked Mark Teixeira. Bryan Prince then singled to right, allowing Stockton to score when McCay’s errant throw home sailed past catcher Dan Moylan.
Freshman Jeff Watchko (2-0) picked up his second victory of the week for the Jackets, allowing just one run and five hits in 3-1/3 innings of work in relief of Tech starter Ben Sheeter. DePriest (1-1) took the loss for Carolina, having allowed three runs, one earned, and twelve hits over five innings of work.
For the third straight game, UNC got on the board first, as an RBI groundout by Earey gave the Heels a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Tech knotted the score at 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Derik Goffena, and opened the lead to 3-1 in the second courtesy of an RBI triple by Richard Lewis.
Carolina used a pair of unearned runs in the third to even the score at 3-3, before the Jackets regained the lead in the fourth on a two-run single by Mark Teixeira. Each team posted a single run in the fifth leaving Tech ahead 6-4, before UNC took a 7-6 lead in the top of the sixth on a three-run home run by Ryan Earey.
An RBI single by Jason Basil in the bottom of the sixth tied the score at 7-7, and after DePriest and Watchko held down offensive threats in the seventh and eighth innings, the stage was set for Tech’s ninth-inning rally.
The win was the sixth straight for Tech, who improves to 15-6 overall, and 3-0 in the ACC. North Carolina drops to 21-3, and 0-3 in league play.
The game was delayed by rain for 45 minutes before the first pitch was thrown. Georgia Tech returns to action on Tuesday night at 7 p.m., as the Jackets host Eastern Kentucky in the opener of a two-game mid-week set at Russ Chandler Stadium.