April 24, 2015
TECH STARTERS: Spingola/CF, Bailey/2B, Gonzalez/3B, Murray/C, Johnson/DH, Smith/1B, Innis/LF, Justus/SS, Peurifoy/RF, King/SP.
CU STARTERS: White/SS, Duggar/RF, Krieger/2B, Rohlman/LF, Okey/C, Pinder/DH, Slaton/CF, Batson/3B, Cox/1B, Crownover/SP.
· Thomas Smith delivered a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth inning as Georgia Tech rallied for a 4-2 victory over Clemson on Friday in the opener of an ACC series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
· Game 2 of the series on Saturday has been pushed back to 6 p.m. due to forecasted rain.
· With the victory, the Yellow Jackets improved to 25-16 overall and 10-12 in the ACC, while the Tigers slipped to 22-20, 11-10.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
· With Tech trailing 2-1 entering the eighth, Matt Gonzalez reached on a leadoff error and A.J. Murray followed with a single to help trigger the Jackets’ rally.
· After a strikeout, and an ensuing wild pitch that moved both runners into scoring position, Smith smacked a single through the right side that scored two and gave Tech its first lead of the night.
· Connor Justus drew a two-out walk in the frame and Ryan Peurifoy slashed a two-out RBI single down the right-field line to tack on insurance at 4-2.
· Sophomore Zac Ryan tossed the final two innings for the Jackets, entering the game to get a fly out and roll an inning-ending double play in the eighth, and setting down the Tigers in order with two strikeouts in the ninth.
· Clemson grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second off Tech starter Jonathan King when Chris Okey scored from third on a fly-out to right from Glenn Batson. The throw from Peurifoy beat Okey to the plate, but the ball was dropped, Okey was ruled safe and Clemson had a 1-0 lead.
· The visitors expanded their lead to 2-0 in fifth, but the damage could have been more if not for a perfect relay throw from Daniel Spingola in center to Justus to Murray to gun Tyler Slaton at the plate for the first out in the inning.
· Matt Gonzalez ripped an RBI single up the middle to score Spingola in the home half of the fifth to cut Clemson’s lead to 2-1.
· The lead remained 2-1 thanks to another outfield assist by the Jackets in the seventh as Spingola gunned down Slaton again at the plate, this time trying to score from second on a single from Eli White.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
· With two outfield assists by Spingola, he tied a school record set 17 previous times. Keenan Innis was the last Jacket to record two outfield assists in a game (March 29, 2014 at Pitt).
· In addition to two outs at the plate on throws from the outfield, Tech also turned double plays to end the fourth and eighth innings.
· Ryan retired all five Tigers he faced in two innings of work and earned the win (6-1), while the loss fell to Clemson reliever Taylor Vetzel (1-3).
· Smith, Murray and Wade Bailey each had two hits for Tech, which out-hit Clemson 8-5.
· Both starting pitchers were strong, with King going 6.2 innings for Tech and allowing four hits and two runs. Matthew Crownover went seven innings and allowed five hits and two runs with nine strikeouts.
· Of Tech’s 25 wins this season, 13 have been come-from-behind victories, including five when trailing after the seventh inning.
· Thanks to three eighth-inning runs versus Clemson, Tech is now out-scoring the opposition 63-24 in the eighth inning or later this season.
· Tech has won three straight in the series versus Clemson and four of the last six. The all-time series favors the Tigers by a narrow 107-105-3 margin.
“It was a good bounce-back win for sure. It looked like it was going to be another one of those games where Jonathan King pitches well, but we don’t score him any runs. But were able to rally in the eighth inning. I want to give Coach Howell and Coach Prince credit for putting Zac Ryan in the game to keep it right there. Smitty had a huge hit for us and it was a nice win over a good Clemson team to start the weekend.”
–Head Coach Danny Hall
UP NEXT: The Yellow Jackets and Tigers continue the three-game series on Saturday at 6 p.m.