After coming off of a series sweep by Pitt and a victory against Georgia State, the Yellow Jackets looked to continue to rebound from the series sweep. Rebound they did against the Dukies. Behind the efforts of Daniel Spingola, who hit a lead-off home run in the sixth inning to trigger a chain of scores that allowed the Yellow Jackets to take and keep the lead, the Yellow Jackets beat the Dukies by a final score of 7-4.
Duke got the scoring started off in the top of the third inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, junior 2B Andy Perez came up to the plate. On the 2-1 pitch, Perez singled through the left side to score two runs. A few batters later, two more runs would be added to the lead. The first came on a double play that senior 3B Jordan Betts hit into. The next batter, senior DH Matt Berezo, hit a single through the right side to bring home the final run of the inning. It would also be the final run of the game for the Blue Devils.
The Yellow Jackets would not stay silent much longer, finally getting on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. After being hit by a pitch and then taking second on a passed ball, junior CF Daniel Spingola came around to score on a single from junior 1B Thomas Smith. Smith would score a couple batters later when freshman SS Connor Justus grounded out to first base.
Georgia Tech would finally blow up in the bottom of the sixth inning. It all started with the first batter of the inning. On the first pitch of the inning, Daniel Spingola hit a home run to right field. With a runners on first and second and two outs, freshman Ryan Peurifoy came on to pinch hit for fellow freshman Keenan Innis. On the first pitch, Peurifoy singled back up the middle to bring home the lead runner. Another batter later and the bases would be loaded for freshman C Arden Pabst. Pabst walked to bring home a run and leave the bases loaded. The next batter, senior captain and 2B Mott Hyde singled a 1-1 pitch to bring home a fourth run. Who else but Daniel Spingola would come up next? On the 2-2 pitch, Spingola singled to short to bring home the fifth and final run of the inning.
Starting the game for the Dukies was senior RHP Drew Van Orden. In his 5.2 innings of work, Van Orden allowed five runs on five hits, with five strikeouts and a walk. He also hit a batter and allowed a home run. Coming on in his relief was sophomore LHP Nick Hendrix. Being unable to record an out, Hendrix allowed two runs on four hits and walked a batter. Coming on for Hendrix was redshirt sophomore RHP Connor Stevens. In his 1.1 innings of work, Stevens allowed zero runs on a hit and two strikeouts. He also gave up a double. Finishing the game for the Blue Devils was freshman RHP JR Holloway. In his 1.0 inning of work, Holloway allowed no runs on zero hits with a walk. Drew Van Orden was credited with the loss.
Starting the game for the Yellow Jackets was junior RHP Josh Heddinger. In his 4.0 innings of work, Heddinger allowed four runs on five hits, with three strikeouts and four walks. Coming on in his relief was freshman RHP Matt Gorst. In his 2.0 innings of work, Gorst allowed no runs on three hits and struck out a batter. Next up was senior RHP Jonathan Roberts. In his 2.0 innings of work, Roberts allowed no runs on one hit, while striking out two batters and walking one. Finishing the game up for the Yellow Jackets was sophomore LHP Sam Clay. Clay pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out a batter. Matt Gorst was credited with the win, and Sam Clay with the save.
Georgia Tech and Duke play again Saturday at 4 PM (barring rain). The game is available on 91.1 FM WREK and ESPN3.