April 29, 2005
CLEMSON, S.C. – Matt Wieters hit a grand slam and pitched two innings to earn the save as No. 6 Georgia Tech (31-11, 17-5 ACC) rallied from an early 8-1 deficit to claim an 18-14 win over Clemson (27-17, 12-7) in the opener of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series on Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets snapped a season-long four-game losing streak and moved back into first place in the ACC standings ahead of North Carolina (14-5-1), who dropped a 6-5 decision to NC State on Friday night. Tech won for just the third time in its last 15 games at Clemson.
Tech starter Lee Hyde (6-2) earned the win on the mound, scattering 11 runs, eight earned, and ten hits over five innings of work. Wieters allowed one run over the final two frames to pick up his team-leading fifth save of the year.
Clemson jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, including a two-run single from Kris Harvey. A triple from Wieters and a RBI single from Jeremy Slayden made the score 4-1 in the second inning.
The Tigers added four runs in the third inning to extend the lead to 8-1. Travis Storrer had a two-run double, Andy D’Alessio added a RBI single and Adrian Casanova drove in a run with a squeeze bunt.
Georgia Tech answered with five runs over the next two innings to pull within 8-6. Consecutive two-out doubles from Jeff Kindel and Andy Hawranick led to three runs in the fourth, while Wes Hodges and Steven Blackwood had RBI singles in a two-run fifth inning.
A solo home run from Harvey, his ACC-leading 17th home run of the year, and a two-run shot from D’Alessio, his ninth, extended Clemson’s lead to 11-6 in the bottom of the fifth.
The Yellow Jackets erupted for eight runs in the sixth inning to take a 14-11 lead. Tech loaded the bases with one out before Steven Blackwood drew a walk to force in the first run of the inning. Wieters followed with a grand slam, his seventh home run of the season, to tie the game at 11-11. The next six Tech hitters all reached base on three singles, a walk, a hit batter and an error to lead to three more runs and a three-run lead.
A two-run home run from Stan Widmann on a 0-2 pitch pulled Clemson to within 14-13 in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Tigers had a chance to retake the lead, putting two runners on base with two outs, when Tyler Harbin hit a long fly ball to left field that Steven Blackwood caught with hit back on the outfield fence.
Tech added a key insurance run in the top of the eighth inning to extend the margin to 15-13. Mike Trapani tripled with one out and scored when Danny Payne dropped a perfect squeeze bunt down the third base line on a 2-2 pitch.
The Yellow Jackets added three more runs in the top of the ninth inning to make the score 18-13. Tech loaded the bases with one out and scored three runs on a hit batter, an infield single and a walk.
An RBI single by Herman Demmink in the bottom of the ninth provided the final 18-14 margin.
Freshman reliever Daniel Moskos (1-2) took the loss on the hill for the Tigers, after being unable to retire three Yellow Jacket batters during the Jackets’ eight-run sixth inning. Clemson starter Stephen Faris, who entered the game as the ACC’s leader in earned run average, allowed eight runs and 11 hits in his 5.1 innings on the mound.
Georgia Tech and Clemson continue the series on Saturday at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised by CSS.