May 4, 2018
THE FLATS – Down 5-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Yellow Jackets scored three runs, including the game-winning RBI on a ground-rule double off the bat of Austin Wilhite to walk-off with a 6-5 win over the Radford Highlanders at home on Friday night in non-conference play.
Friday night’s walk-off win was the first for the Jackets since Chase Murray hit a sacrifice fly to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth in Tech’s 8-7 win over Pittsburgh on May 6 of last year.
Fighting back from behind all game long, the Jackets erased a 1-0 lead with a run in the fourth, a 3-1 lead with two runs in the fifth and then scored three runs in the ninth to erase a two-run deficit in their final at bat to pick up the come from behind win.
With their backs against the wall, down two runs and with only one out to play with, the Jackets’ Murray roped a single up the middle to keep Tech’s chances alive. After an error by the Radford shortstop allowed Tristin English to reach base safely and put runners on first and second, a passed ball moved the runners up one base to second and third base with two outs.
With the tying runs both in scoring position freshman third baseman Oscar Serratos hit a 2-0 pitch through the right side to plate both Murray and English and tie the game up at 5-5.
After getting the green light on the base paths from the dugout and head coach Danny Hall, Serratos stole second base, which proved to be vital in putting the winning run in scoring position with Austin Wilhite at the plate. Having been robbed of a hard base hit on a line drive up the middle in his previous at bat, Austin Wilhite hit a 2-2 pitch to right field that kept carrying until it flew over the outfielder’s head, hit the warning track and bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.
Serratos, who had swiped second base earlier in the at-bat and was going to score on the hit, was awarded the two bases to give the White and Gold the 6-5 walk-off win.
The Jackets fell behind 1-0 on a solo home run by Radford lead-off hitter Luke Wise to start the game, but tied it up in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by Austin Wilhite.
The Highlanders retook the lead at 3-1 in the top of the fifth on a solo home run from Straton Podaras and an RBI triple by Wise, only to see the Jackets knot the game up again at 3-3 on a Joey Bart sacrifice fly and an English RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.
Radford scored two runs in the top of the eighth on an RBI single and an RBI squeeze play with a runner on third to take an 5-3 lead late in the contest.
Georgia Tech pounded out 16 hits, but left 11 runners on base on the night.
Murray (3-for-5, 2B, 3 runs) and English (3-for-5, RBI, run) had three hits apiece in the middle of the Tech lineup, while Wade Bailey (2-for-5, 2B, run), Austin Wilhite (2-for-4, 2 2B, BB, 2 RBIs) and Colin Hall (2-for-4) each had two hits in the win. Serratos (1-for-5, 2 RBIs, run) had a clutch two-out hit in the ninth to score two runs before scoring the winning run on Austin Wilhite‘s base hit.
Tech’s Andy Archer (4-0) picked up with win, as he allowed two runs, one of which was earned, on three hits and two strikeouts over the eighth and ninth innings out of the bullpen for the Jackets.
Archer spelled starter Xzavion Curry who had yet another quality start on the mound for the Jackets, surrendering just three runs on four hits, no walks and eighth strikeouts over 7.0 complete innings.
Radford’s Kyle Palmer (2-2) was handed the loss, as the left-handed reliever was touched for three runs, all of which were unearned, on five hits and two strikeouts over 1.2 innings of work.
The Jackets (25-21) and Highlanders (20-24) will play game two of the three-game non-conference series tomorrow at 4 p.m.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) May 5, 2018