Feb. 23, 2013
THE FLATS – No. 20 Georgia Tech and St. John’s split a doubleheader Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium, as the Yellow Jackets walked off with a 3-2 win in the opener and the Red Storm survived a ninth-inning rally by the Jackets to take the nightcap, 9-7.
The loss snapped a five-game season-opening winning streak by Tech (5-1), and gave St. John’s (1-5) its first win of the season. The teams play the rubber game Sunday at 1 p.m.
After senior Buck Farmer tossed another gem for the Jackets, going seven shutout innings with four hits, seven strikeouts and no walks, Tech took a 2-0 lead to the eighth inning. But St. John’s spoiled Farmer’s bid for a second win when Zach Lauricella stroked a game-tying two-RBI double to right off reliever Jonathan King.
King would strand Lauricella at second, work a clean ninth inning and was credited with his first collegiate win.
Hyde reached second on a lead-off error in the bottom of the ninth, and moved to third thanks to Zane Evans’ ground out. Dore, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh inning, took the first offering he saw from SJU reliever Ryan Horstman and laced the game-winning single down the right-field line.
Evans and Brandon Thomas each had two of Tech’s seven hits. A.J. Murray’s RBI single got the Jackets on the board in the first and Evans’ first home run of the season made it 2-0 in the seventh inning.
St. John’s 9, Georgia Tech 7
The Johnnies got the bats going in the nightcap, and broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning with a three-run shot to left from Frank Schwindel. Tech though answered right back in the bottom half thanks to an RBI single from Thomas and run-scoring doubles from Daniel Palka and Hyde.
Martin Kelly’s RBI double with two outs in the fifth inning gave the visitors the lead right back. They tacked on what proved to be much-needed insurance when Bret Dennis cleared the bases with a three-run double to the gap in right-center in the seventh inning. Kelly’s two-run double in the ninth made it 9-3.
But Tech sent 10 batters to the plate during their last-ditch effort in the ninth, loading the bases with three walks. With two outs, Palka was hit by a pitch to drive in a run and Murray followed in the next at-bat with a run-scoring walk. Things got interesting when Matt Gonzalez doubled to left to score two.
Now clinging to just a 9-7 lead, SJU reliever Thomas Hackimer walked Hyde to load the bases and put the potential winning run on. But Hackimer rolled a game-ending grounder from Evans to end it.
Murray and Thomas each had two hits for Tech, who out-hit St. John’s 9-7 and stranded 10 runners on base in the game.
Sean Hagan worked seven innings, allowing seven hits and three runs to pick up his first win (1-1), while Hackimer earned the save. SJU centerfielder Martin Kelly, who made three highlight reel catches in Saturday’s first game, was 3-for-3 in the nightcap and drove in three.
Dusty Isaacs was pinned the loss (1-1).