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Ninth-Inning Rally Sends No. 17 Wolfpack Past No. 16 Jackets, 8-7

April 21, 2013

Box Score

THE FLATS – No. 16 Georgia Tech took a 7-6 lead to the ninth inning, but No. 17 NC State rallied with a pair of runs to steal Sunday’s game, 8-7, at Russ Chandler Stadium. Brandon Thomas had three hits for the Yellow Jackets and Thomas Smith was 2-for-4 with two RBI and hit his first career home run.

It’s the first late-inning loss of the year for Tech, which was 24-0 when taking a lead to the ninth inning. The Jackets slipped to 27-13 overall and 11-10 in the ACC, while the Wolfpack improved to 32-10, 14-7 with the weekend sweep.

Brett Williams’ single to left drove in Grant Clyde, who led off State’s half of the ninth inning with a double, and Jake Armstrong’s sacrifice fly with one out broke the 7-7 deadlock. Chris Overman, who pitched four scoreless innings, set the Jackets down in order in the bottom half to pick up his first win (1-0).

Tech rallied for the lead twice in the back-and-forth ballgame after five runs by the Wolfpack – including a grand slam from Grant Clyde – gave the visitors a quick 5-0 lead in the third inning. The Jackets responded with a four-spot in the bottom of the third, Kyle Wren and Thomas ripped consecutive doubles in the fourth inning for the tie and Smith led off the fifth inning with a solo blast to left for a 6-5 lead.

Tarren Senay collected his ninth RBI of the weekend with a game-tying single in the sixth, but the lead swung back to the Jackets again in the bottom half thanks to Daniel Palka’s RBI fielder’s choice that scored Thomas, who singled, moved to second on a balk and to third on an error.

The Jackets were unable to build on the lead, leaving a pair stranded in the seventh and eighth innings.

Zane Evans’ two-RBI single opened the scoring for the hosts in the third after Wren and Thomas each walked and stole their way into scoring position. Smith followed with an RBI single and starter Brad Stone’s day ended after hitting Mott Hyde with the bases loaded to make the score 5-4.

Tech starter Cole Pitts was lifted after three innings, and junior reliever Alex Cruz allowed just a run on four hits with two strikeouts over his 4.1 innings of relief. Evans tossed the final two innings, was denied his fourth save, and slipped to 0-1.

Wren had a double, walked, swiped two bags and scored twice. His 22 stolen bases this season are the most by a Jacket since Charlie Blackmon’s 25 in 2008. Wren has tied former Jacket Red Barron (1920-22) on Tech’s career stolen base list with 54.

The Yellow Jackets are back in action Tuesday night at Turner Field versus Georgia in the annual Kauffman Tire Spring Baseball Classic for Kids. General admission tickets are $12 and all proceeds benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. and the game is live on Fox Sports South.

For more information on Tuesday’s game, click here.


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