April 16, 2005
ATLANTA – Danny Payne’s two-out, two-run single capped a three-run ninth inning rally and lifted No. 4 Georgia Tech (28-7, 15-2 ACC) to a 9-8 win over No. 9 Florida State (33-10, 9-5) on Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets improved to 31-2 in their last 33 regular season Atlantic Coast Conference games, and the victory clinched Tech’s 13th consecutive ACC series win.
Trailing 8-6 after eight and a half innings, Georgia Tech mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. Florida State reliever Tyler Chambliss (5-2) struck out the first four hitters that he faced before Jeremy Slayden started the rally with a one-out single. Consecutive walks to Matt Wieters and Jeff Kindel loaded the bases before Whit Robbins worked a walk to score Slayden with the first run of the inning.
Chambliss nearly worked out of the jam when he struck out Mike Trapani for the second out of the inning and had Payne down 1-2 in the count. But Payne fouled off two pitches before he laced a single up the middle that drove in two runs and gave the Yellow Jackets a dramatic comeback victory.
Tech’s Jared Hyatt (2-0) earned the win by working 2 2/3 innings of perfect relief while striking out three batters.
Payne finished 2-for-6, while Robbins had two hits and drove in a career-high four runs. Slayden had two hits and scored three runs.
Gibbs Chapman and Ryne Jernigan each had two hits for the Seminoles.
A RBI single from Robbins gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. The Seminoles tied the game at 1-1 with an unearned run in the third, scoring on a wild pitch and without the aid of a hit.
Tech batted around and scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning to take a 5-1 lead. A double and a pair of walks loaded the bases with two outs before Kindel forced in a run with a walk, Robbins delivered a two-run single and Michael Fisher added a RBI single.
Florida State took advantage of Tech starter Jason Neighborgall’s inability to find the strike zone in the fourth inning and scored two runs on one hit, three walks and a hit batter. The Seminoles pulled to within 5-3 on bases loaded walks to Henry and Ryne Malone.
The Seminoles tied the game in the top of the fifth inning with two more runs without the aid of a hit. A hit batsman and walk chased Neighborgall from the game, and a fielding error by third baseman Wes Hodges loaded the bases with one out. A bases loaded walk to Tony Thomas, Jr., Florida State’s third of the game, and a RBI groundout from Henry tied the score at 5-5.
A pair of RBI singles from Jack Rye and Jernigan off Tech reliever Jordan Crews staked Florida State to a 7-5 leads in the top of the sixth inning. Florida State extended the lead to 8-5 with a RBI single from Chapman in the top of the seventh inning.
The Yellow Jackets rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning, loading the bases with no outs off reliever Matt DiBlasi. But Tech was held to just one run when Robbins grounded into a double play and reliever Kevin Lynch struck out Trapani to end the inning.
Georgia Tech and Florida State will conclude the three-game series on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.