Drew Parrish, a sophomore LHP (2-0, 2.61) faced off against Jacket starter Connor Thomas (3-3, 4.29) in a game moved up to 4 PM due to weather. Connor pitched the game of his young career to even the series at one each.
The game started strangely, with a single by Salvatore and a fly ball out deep to center that Nick Wilhite caught. Salvatore touched second and failed to touch it again before retreating to first, resulting in an out. (Thanks to Mr. Wilhite for explaining this). A video review upheld the call.
The first score didn’t occur until the bottom of the 5th, when Austin Wilhite led off with a single and scored on Oscar Serratos’ double. Unfortunately, Oscar rounded second too far and was out, but the run gave Tech a 1-0 lead after five. The lead didn’t last long as a single and two out triple tied it up at one. Bailey saved a run by catching a really high pop-up that the wind was really pushing around for out three. The Jackets stranded runners at second and third in their 6th, keeping the game tied.
Tech went ahead for good in their 7th when Serratos led off with a double on relief pitcher Conor Grady, a freshman righthander. Oscar moved to third on Nick Wilhite’s bunt, and scored on Bailey’s grounder to second, beating a throw home.
In Tech’s 8th, after after FSU walked Serratos to get to Nick Wilhite with runners on first and second. Nick hit a sinking liner that the left fielder caught on a nice dive to keep the game 2-1.
Connor Thomas came back to try for a complete game and did so in dramatic fashion. First he struck out Aplin, who had been 2 for 3. Then he got Raleigh on a fly ball to center. Finally, Mendoza hit a high bouncer that ticked off Thomas’ glove, forcing Bailey to charge it and throw low to first, where it got past McCann. Joey Bart was hustling to back up the play and retrieved the ball from near the FSU dugout and threw an absolute bullet to Wilhite at second. Austin tagged out Mendoza, ending the game and bringing the Jackets streaming on to the field in celebration. What a finish!
Thomas got the Jackets’ first complete game win in nearly a year as Tech improved to 18-13 (7-7) and FSU fell to 24-8 (8-6). Thomas only gave up 6 hits and one walk on 116 pitches. Otherwise notable were multi hit games by Serratos, Austin Wilhite, and Guldberg, plus Bart’s game ending play. Parrish got the loss with the rubber game coming Sunday.