June 2, 2014
OXFORD, Miss. – Georgia Tech sprinted out to an early 2-0 lead, but Washington scored the game’s final four runs and eliminated the Yellow Jackets from the 2014 NCAA Oxford Regional with 4-2 victory Sunday night.
Tech (37-27), which fought off elimination with a ninth-inning rally earlier Sunday in a 4-2 win over Jacksonville State, couldn’t muster the same late-game magic in the nightcap and saw its ACC Championship season come to an end. The Huskies (41-16-1) will have to beat Ole Miss twice on Monday to reach the Super Regionals.
“I want to thank my team,” said head coach Danny Hall. “I felt like they played very hard and had some chances here tonight to try and get that hit to get back in the game and couldn’t quite do it.”
The Jackets pounced quickly on Washington, staking junior starter Matthew Grimes to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After Grimes worked a scoreless top of the first, the Jackets put the first two batters on in the home half as Daniel Spingola reached on a lead-off error and Mott Hyde followed behind by legging out a bunt single.
The sky opened following Hyde’s single and the game was sent into a rain delay that lasted 30 minutes. Washington starter Jared Fisher struggled to find his control once play resumed and three consecutive one-out walks to Thomas Smith, A.J. Murray and Connor Justus allowed Tech to put a pair of runs on the board.
But a crucial 5-4-3 double play allowed Fisher to dodge further trouble in the first.
“That was a key play,” said Hall. “The thing that goes unsung about Washington is that they have some really good infielders – they made some plays look easy that weren’t easy.”
Washington pulled even in the third as a two-out walk to Braden Bishop kept the inning alive and Andrew Ely made it costly by launching a game-tying home run to right.
Tech had chances to regain the lead, stranding runners in scoring position in the second and fifth and would finish the night 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
The game turned in the Huskies’ favor for good in the sixth as Robert Pehl delivered an RBI single to left after UW loaded the bases with no outs. Chris Baker’s chopper to first followed to make it 4-2.
Grimes was on the hook for all four runs in his six innings of work and was hung the loss (5-3). Rookie Ben Parr tossed three scoreless innings of relief with three strikeouts to keep Washington within striking distance.
But UW reliever Brandon Choate (4-1) registered the win, while Trevor Dunlap did yeoman’s work over the final scoreless innings with four strikeouts to earn his sixth save.
Rookie catcher Arden Pabst gunned down all three Washington steal attempts in the game, and had four caught-stealings in the regional.