March 9, 2018
CLEMSON, S.C. — No. 30 Georgia Tech battled back to tie the game in the top of the eighth on a Chase Murray RBI single, only to see No. 6 Clemson retake the lead on a single just out of the reach of a drawn in infield in the bottom half of the inning to slip past the Jackets with a 3-2 win in the two teams’ Atlantic Coast Conference opener on Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in Clemson, S.C.
The loss drops Tech to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in ACC play, while the Tigers improved to 13-1 and 1-0 in the league with the win.
The contest was a pitcher’s duel, as GT’s starter Xzavion Curry (5.0 IP, 3 hits, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 Ks) and CU’s hurler Jacob Hennessy (7.0-plus, 6 hits, 2 ER, 7 Ks) went toe-to-toe from the start.
The decision went to the two bullpens though, as Clemson’s Ryan Miller (2-0) stole the win with 2.0-scoreless innings and one strikeout, while Tech’s Jared Datoc (0-2) suffered the loss allowing one run on one hit, three hits, one walk and two strikeouts over 3.0 innings of work.
Murray led the Tech offense going 3-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI, while Joey Bart went 2-for-4 at the plate. Kel Johnson (0-for-3, RBI) had the lone other RBI on the day for the Jackets.
For Clemson, Seth Beer (2-for-4, HR) and Bryce Teodosio (1-for-3, HR) each had a solo home run in the win, while Patrick Cromwell (1-for-4, RBI) drove in what would be the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth.
The Tigers used the long ball early in the contest to take a 2-0 lead, as Beer hit a solo home run to right field in the bottom of the first, while two innings later Teodosio homered to left center field to put the home team in front after three innings of play.
After back-to-back three-up and three-down innings offensively for the Jackets, Georgia Tech led off the fourth with a Murray single and a Bart double to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Two batters later, Johnson would plate Murray on an RBI ground ball to third to cut the Tigers’ lead in half at 2-1 midway through the fourth.
Looking to blow the game open in the bottom half of the fourth, the Tigers put two on with no outs to start the frame only to see an infield fly, a fly ball to right field and a ground out to third end the inning as Curry kept the score at 2-1 after four complete innings.
The Jackets left a man on base in both the sixth and the seventh innings, before a lead-off single by Colin Hall, a sacrifice bunt by Wade Bailey and an RBI single off the bat of Murray in the eighth tied the game up at 2-2.
Clemson quickly retook the lead in the bottom half of the inning, as three straight singles by the Tigers, capped off by an RBI single past a drawn in infield by Cromwell, put the home team in front by one at 3-2.
Pinch hitter Kyle McCann led off the ninth with a single through the left side. Pinch runner Nick Wilhite was moved up second on a sacrifice bunt from Carter Hall, before Clemson halted the Jackets last chance attempt with a strikeout and a line out to second to slip past the Jackets for the 3-2 win.
Both teams left six runners on base for the contest.
The two teams will return to Doug Kingsmore Stadium for a doubleheader tomorrow. First pitch of game one is set for 12 p.m. Game two will start approximately 50 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) March 9, 2018