April 20, 2014
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – No. 25 Georgia Tech struck for seven runs in the 12th inning and defeated Maryland, 13-6, Sunday afternoon at Shipley Field in the series finale. Thomas Smith had four hits, including a 12th-inning RBI single that gave Tech the lead.
The victory allowed the Yellow Jackets to avoid a sweep as they improved to 25-16 overall and 11-10 in the ACC. The Terrapins slipped to 24-14, 9-11. Tech is now 3-3 in extra-inning games this season (3-2 in conference play).
“We certainly didn’t want to get swept and I felt like we battled today,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Arden’s home run really gave us some life and Sam (Clay) and Dusty (Isaacs) made some big pitches to get us outs. Offensively, we had a couple big innings, which we needed.”
Boosted by 4.2 innings of shutout relief from Dusty Isaacs, the Jackets finally put the senior in position for his fifth as the first seven batters reached safely in the 12th. Daniel Spingola got things started by reaching on a lead-off error. Matt Gonzalez followed with a sharp single to left and Spingola sprinted home for the lead when Smith deposited a single to center.
A.J. Murray was walked intentionally to load the bases and Keenan Innis drew a walk to make it 8-6. Justus singled for a 9-6 advantage and Brandon Gold followed next with a bases-loaded walk. Two more scored on wild pitches and Pabst and Mott Hyde delivered sacrifice flies on consecutive at bats to cap the seven-run uprising.
Jonathan Roberts pitched the 12th and worked around a two-out walk to close it out.
Isaacs entered a 6-6 game with a runner at second and one out in the seventh, and yielded a single to put runners at the corners. The Terps attempted a squeeze bunt, but Smith quickly fielded the ball and flipped to Pabst who tagged out Jose Cuas for the second out.
Charlie White singled in the next at bat, and this time Gonzalez fired a rocket from left and gunned down pinch-runner Andrew Amaro at the plate for the final out.
“They went safety squeeze with their catcher Martir and Smitty made a great play and then Gonzo made a good throw,” said Hall. “We had two close plays at the plate with Gonzo earlier and the throws were just off line, but he put that one right on the money and Pabst did a great job waiting on the ball and making the tag.”
Isaacs stranded two in the eighth, worked a 1-2-3 ninth, left two more in scoring position in the 10th and retired the 11th in order. He went 4.2 innings (his longest outing of the season), and improved to 5-4 by scattering four hits and no walks with four strikeouts.
Tech starter Matthew Grimes lasted just three innings, allowing seven hits and four runs. Matthew Gorst allowed a run in two innings of relief, and Sam Clay recorded five scoreless outs to keep the game tied at 6-6.
Maryland jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first, but the Jackets scored three times in the third to grab the lead. The Terps took it right back with a two-run third and extended it to 5-3 with Lowe’s RBI double in the fourth.
In the sixth, Maryland committed consecutive infield errors with one out and Pabst made them pay by launching his first career home run to left – a three-run shot that gave Tech a 6-5 lead. But the Terps answered again in the bottom half, loading the bases with no outs before a 4-6-3 double play plated the tying run.
In the game, Tech turned its NCAA-leading 51st double play and recorded two more outfield assists to extend its NCAA lead in that category to 20.
The loss fell to Bobby Ruse (4-2), who pitched five innings in relief of starter Jake Drossner. Lowe was 4-for-4 to pace the Terrapins.
The Yellow Jackets return to action Tuesday night at Mercer. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.