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Johnson's Walk-Off Single Gives Jackets 5-4 Win

March 4, 2016

#13 Georgia Tech
(9-0)

Game 9
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
W. Carolina 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 4 12 0
Georgia Tech 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 2 5 9 0
Western Carolina
(3-6)
WP: Ben Parr (3-0) | LP: B.J. Nobles (0-1) | SV: None
Box Score

THE FLATS – Sophomore Kel Johnson delivered a walk-off RBI single to plate Connor Justus as the 13th-ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets posted a 5-4 win over Western Carolina on Friday night.

Johnson finished the night with a career-high-tying four hits, going 4-for-5. It was Johnson’s first walk-off hit of his college career and lifted Georgia Tech (9-0) to its first 9-0 start since 2006. Friday’s win also extended the Jackets’ home winning streak to nine games – their longest home win streak since 2011 (11 games).

THE LINEUPS
Western Carolina – Garrett Brown CF, Brett Pope SS, Danny Bermudez C, Matt Smith 1B, Kramer Ferrell LF, Bryson Bowman RF, Spencer Holcomb DH, Nobu Suzuki 2B, J.D. Long 3B, Brendan Nail P

Georgia Tech – Wade Bailey 2B, Connor Justus SS, Matt Gonzalez 3B, Kel Johnson DH, Tristin English 1B, Brandt Stallings RF, Arden Pabst C, Ryan Peurifoy CF, Keenan Innis LF, Brandon Gold P

THE BASICS
• Georgia Tech is 9-0 for the first time since 2006 (started 16-0).
• The Yellow Jackets extended their home win streak to nine games, their longest home win streak since 2011 (11 games).
• Tech has now won 19 straight nonconference home games.
Danny Hall posted his 1,140th career victory and 932nd at Georgia Tech.
• Tech is now 295-100 all-time in the month of March under Hall.
• Georgia Tech is 859-251-1 all-time at Russ Chandler Stadium (since 1985).

HOW IT HAPPENED
• Western Carolina took a 1-0 lead in the first inning after Brown scored on a Brandon Gold wild pitch.
• Georgia Tech plated the equalizer in the second when Kel Johnson scored on Arden Pabst’s RBI groundout.
• WCU extended its lead to 3-1 in the third. The Catamounts regained the lead after Matt Smith’s RBI single to left field and later took a 3-1 lead on Ferrell’s RBI single to center field.
• The Catamounts’ lead grew to 4-1 in the fifth with Bermudez’s one-out solo home run. That would be the Catamounts’ last run of the day.
• Tech slowly chipped away at WCU’s lead. First in the sixth, Tristin English drove home the Jackets’ first run in fourth innings on a sac fly RBI to score Matt Gonzalez.
• Tech’s rally continued in the eighth when English drove in his second run on an RBI groundout, cutting the WCU lead to 4-3.
• The #CardiacJackets returned in the ninth inning for two runs and the win. Keenan Innis drew a one-out walk before Wade Bailey singled to left-center. With two runners aboard, Connor Justus tied the game with an RBI double to right field.
• After Gonzalez was intentionally walked, Johnson singled to center field to score Justus for the game-winner.

QUOTE BOARD
Brandon Gold was sick this week. He probably wasn’t 100% today health-wise.I felt like Burton Dulaney did a nice job to keeping us right there. Bobby Gauvreau and Ben Parr did a nice job in relief. Parr was big in keeping that runner from scoring in the ninth. We got some big hits in the ninth inning.” Danny Hall on Tech’s come-from-behind victory

“I was having a good night heading up into the ninth. I was kinda shocked to see Matt (Gonzalez) get intentionally walked, but I was happy about the opportunity to get to the plate with a chance to win the game. Kel Johnson on his game-winning hit

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
• Georgia Tech batted in the bottom of the ninth for the first time in eight home games this season.
Kel Johnson tied a career high with four hits, going 4-for-5. It was Johnson’s third multi-hit game of the season.
• Johnson was the only Yellow Jacket with more than one hit on the night.
• Freshman Tristin English drove in two runs on a pair of RBI groundouts.
• Freshman Burton Dulaney pitched two innings of scoreless relief, scattering three hits with three strikeouts.
Ben Parr earned his third win of the season, striking out one batter in 2/3 of an inning.

UP NEXT
No. 13 Georgia Tech continues its weekend series at 2 p.m. Saturday with Western Carolina. Fans can watch the game live on RamblinWreck.com or listen to WREK 91.1 FM. Because of the 2 p.m. men’s basketball game at McCamish Pavilion, all parking lots will be $15.

For the latest information on the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, follow us on Twitter (@GTBaseball), Facebook (facebook.com/GTbaseball) or visit us at www.ramblinwreck.com.

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