May 8, 2004
ATLANTA – Leadoff hitter Eric Patterson went 3-for-3 with a home run, four RBI, four runs scored and a school-record five stolen bases, and Steven Blackwood delivered the game winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning to lead No. 21 Georgia Tech (29-17, 11-5 ACC) to a 9-8 win over visiting Duke (23-22, 7-10) on Saturday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets extended their winning streak to a season-long eight games, and Tech won its ninth straight game against ACC opponents. With the win, Tech moved into sole possession of second place in the ACC standings, percentage points ahead of third place Clemson (12-6). Tech stands even in the loss column with league leader Virginia (15-5), which defeated Florida State, 15-2, on Saturday night.
With the score tied at 8-8 after eight and a half innings, Patterson legged out an infield single with one out to start the ninth inning rally. He took second base with his fifth stolen base of the game, and, after Wes Hodges was hit by a pitch, scored the winning run on Blackwood’s RBI single to center field.
Patterson tied K.G. White’s 17-year old school record for stolen bases in a game. White stole five bases in Tech 19-8 win over East Tennessee State in 1987. Blackwood finished 3-for-5 with two RBI, and Whit Robbins added two hits.
Tech reliever Nick Wagner (1-1) earned his first win of the year, tossing a career-long three innings and not allowing a run. Duke’s Greg Burke (5-5) took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits in 2.1 innings.
Tim Layden gave the Blue Devils a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with his team-leading sixth home run of the year, but Tech answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead. Patterson walked and scored on Blackwood’s RBI single, while Blackwood scored on an error by Duke left fielder Javier Socorro.
Duke’s Bryan Smith tied the game in the top of the second with a solo home run, his first of the year.
In the bottom of the second, Patterson hit a three-run homer, his second in as many games and his sixth home run of the year, to give the Yellow Jackets a 5-2 lead. Tech made the score 6-2 in the fourth inning on a two-out RBI single from Patterson.
The Blue Devils cut the lead to 6-4 in the top of the fifth inning with a RBI single from Brian Hernandez and a sacrifice fly from Layden. Duke tied the score at 6-6 in the sixth with a pair of unearned runs. After the first two hitters of the inning were quickly retired, the Blue Devils loaded the bases with three straight singles before scoring on Tech shortstop Tyler Greene’s fielding error and a passed ball.
Duke broke the 6-6 tie with two runs in the top of the seventh, scoring on a wild pitch and a two-out RBI single from Jonathan Anderson. Tech quickly tied the game at 8-8 in the bottom of the inning. Patterson walked, stole second and third bases and scored on Wes Hodges’ RBI single. A single from Blackwood put runners at first and third, and Hodges scored on when Micah Owings grounded into a double play.
Duke had a chance to break the tie in the top of the eighth inning. The Blue Devils loaded the bases with one out, but Wagner got a double play ground ball to escape the jam.
For the second straight night, neither starting pitcher was involved in the decision. Tech starter Andrew Kown, looking for his fourth straight win, got no decision after working 5.2 innings and allowing four earned runs. Duke’s Zach Schreiber went six-plus innings and allowed five earned runs.
The Yellow Jackets won their second straight game over the Blue Devils in their final at bat. Tech has seven wins in its final at bat this season.
Georgia Tech and Duke will conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m.