March 16, 2014
THE FLATS – Freshman Connor Justus hammered a single through the left side with one out in the 10th inning as Georgia Tech walked off with a 3-2 win over No. 22 Miami to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader and win the series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The victory allowed the Yellow Jackets to win a series from the Hurricanes for the first time since 2011, and improved Tech to 11-8 overall and 3-3 in the ACC with its fourth win in five games. Miami slipped to 11-9, 4-2.
Justus’ RBI single into left field and past a drawn in infield scored classmate Keenan Innis who got the 10th inning started by reaching on an error. Rookie Arden Pabst laced a single to left in the next at bat, and Mott Hyde moved both into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.
Justus, the rookie shortstop from Cartersville, Ga., hammered the 1-2 offering from Miami reliever Bryan Garcia for an RBI single that gave the Jackets’ their first walk-off win since doing it twice versus No. 1 North Carolina last season in Atlanta.
“Huge hit from Connor to win the game,” said head coach Danny Hall. “A great day for us and just very proud of the way our team played today. We capitalized (with runners in scoring position) in the first game today tand we kept waiting for that big hit tonight and it finally came in the 10th.”
Tech’s bullpen, which did not allow a hit over six innings of work in the first game of Saturday’s twinbill, followed suit in the nightcap. On the heels of career-long six strong innings from Devin Stanton in his first career start, Jonathan Roberts and Dusty Isaacs were lights out in the final four innings of relief.
“Devin gave us a great start and went further than we thought we’d get out of him,” said Hall. “Roberts and Dusty both came in and threw the ball very well and it was great to see both those guys bounce back after last night.”
Roberts fanned four in retiring the Hurricanes in order in the seventh and eighth innings and Isaacs earned the win (3-2) by setting down the final six in order with two strikeouts.
The first of two Matt Gonzalez sacrifice flies tied the game at 1-1 in the first and his second knotted the game at 2-2 in the eighth. Miami seized a 1-0 lead with Brad Fieger’s RBI grounder in the first inning, and the visitors moved back in front thanks to Willie Abreu’s sac fly in the third.
After the teams combined for 38 runs and 52 hits (15 for extra bases) in the first two games of the series, the finale featured just five runs and 10 hits.
A.J. Murray had two of Tech’s six hits, including a triple, while Gonzalez drove in two runs and Hyde scored twice.
Garcia was hung the loss (1-1) in relief of starter Andrew Suarez, who pitched nine innings and allowed four hits and two runs with seven strikeouts.
Completing a seven-game homestand, the Jackets now hit the road for five straight beginning with consecutive midweek games at Kennesaw State (Tuesday at 6 p.m.) and Georgia State (Wednesday at 6 p.m.). Tech is at North Carolina this weekend.