Tristin English, still suffering from a sore leg from last weekend, pitched for Tech against freshman LHP Austin Pollock (2-2, 4.94) in the series rubber game. It would be hard to imagine a game more opposite than Saturday’s tense 2-1 victory than today’s 16-3 laugher.
I arrived a bit late in the bottom of the 1st to find Murray at 3rd and Bart on 1st after a walk and single. Murray scored on a wild pitch, but Tech was unable to capitalize further, so led 1-0. Tech failed to take advantage of a 2nd and 3rd with one out situation in their 2nd inning, leaving three on base in the first two.
FSU didn’t waste a lead off double in their 3rd, moving him the rest of the way on a sacrifice fly and grounder to shortstop. Tech got the run right back in the bottom of the 3rd on a two out RBI double by Colin Hall, but they again left two runners in scoring position.
In the top of the 5th, Oscar Serratos saved two runs by stopping a hard grounder to his left and throwing to first for out three with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Both teams were leaving a lot of runners on base, but that soon changed for the Jackets.
The Jackets didn’t waste McCann’s leadoff double in their 5th when English singled him in. It was the first time all weekend Tech led by more than one. After a ball to Bailey, FSU brought in freshman LHP Jonah Scolaro for Pollock. He walked Bailey and Hall before striking out Serratos for out one. Then, both Wilhite brothers got RBI singles, Austin for two and Nick for one to make it 6-2. FSU brought in freshman RHP CJ Van Eck to face Guldberg with two on. He hit Guldberg to load the bases again. After Bart struck out, McCann ripped his second double of the inning down the right field line, clearing the bases and giving Tech a 9-1 lead.
After Tristin got through the 6th, FSU brought in freshman LHP Shane Drohan to pitch. He got two quick outs before Serratos put a ball barely over the left field wall for a homerun, with everyone on the field waiting to see if the left fielder had caught it. Next, Austin Wilhite hit a ball off the wall in the same area that bounced away from the outfielders, allowing him to run all the way around for an inside the park HR. Tech led 11-1 after 6 and Andy Archer came in to pitch the 7th. He gave the two runs right back when a leadoff single and double both scored on ground ball outs, so Tech led 11-3 at the stretch.
In the bottom of the 8th, Drohan loaded the bases on two walks and hitting English on his sore leg – ouch! FSU brought in freshman RHP Tyler Ahern with one out to face Bailey and Wiseman ran for English. Ahern threw two wild pitches to Bailey and an error by the catcher on the second one cleared the bases before Bailey walked. The Jackets led 14-3 before a two RBI double by Austin Wilhite made it 16-3 as Joseph Mannelly came in to pitch and retired the Seminoles in order. After four pinch hitters for Tech in their 8th, Jared Datoc came in for his first work of the weekend and ended the game 1-2-3.
It was a great series win for the Jackets, who have come all the way back from an 0-3 start in the ACC campaign, improving to 19-13 (8-7), while FSU falls to 24-9 (8-7). English gets the win and Pollock the loss. Offensive heroes are led by Austin Wilhite with 5 RBI and Kyle McCann with 3. Tristin English deserves special praise for playing both ways through pain. His leg was badly bruised last weekend by fouling a ball off it, but he’s gutted it out, missing only the Tuesday game. All the Tech pitchers walked nobody today and only five this weekend, while FSU pitchers issued 22! On to Mercer.