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Tech splits Saturday doubleheader with Northwestern

The Jackets followed up a strong early game with a disappointing afternoon affair.

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Connor Thomas (0-1, 4.50 ERA) pitched for the Jackets against righty sophomore Ryan Bader (0-1) with an ERA of 9.00.

The first scoring came in the bottom of the 2nd, when Austin Wilhite drove in Kyle McCann from 3rd with a groundout. But, the lead didn’t last, as local products Jack and David Dunn hit an infield single and long double to drive in one run each. Their father played for Tech. NW had their first lead at 2-1 after three innings.

In the Tech 4th, Austin Wilhite came to bat with the same situation he had faced in the 2nd, one out and McCann and Serratos at third and second. This time he singled both of them in to restore Tech to a one run lead. After Waddell walked, NW brought in sophomore righty Anthony Alepra. He gave up a single to Nick to load the bases, but neither Waddell nor Guldberg could get any more runs in.

Connor faced the Dunn brothers with a runner in scoring position again in the 5th, but struck them both out this time to keep it 3-2 in favor of Tech. Jack Pagliarini, a lefty sophomore, came in to pitch with one out in the bottom of the 5th. McCann said, “have one off the batters eye” and it was 4-2.

In the Tech sixth, Nick Wilhite lay down a perfect bunt with brother Austin and Waddell on. He beat it out, and the throw was wide allowing Austin to score. Murray grounded into a DP that scored Waddell from third, and Tech led 6-2.

With two on and two out in the Tech 7th, freshman RHP Mike Doherty came in to pitch. He walked Austin Wilhite and gave up a fly ball to Waddell that the left fielder couldn’t catch. McCann and Serratos scored before Austin was called out at home. This play was reviewed and he scored to make it 9-2. Jonathan Hughes relieved Thomas and pitched a 1-2-3 eighth and closed the game with a one hit ninth. Thomas got the win and Bader the loss.

In game three, Brant Hurter faced off against sophomore LHP Quinn Lavelle (0-0, 0.96 ERA). Both pitched well enough to win, but only Lavelle would do so as the Wildcats salvaged a game.

After three scoreless innings, Tristin English led off the 4th with a triple in the right field corner. Unfortunately, he was thrown out at home when NW pulled their infield in and Serratos hit one right to the 3rd baseman.

It was scoreless after four and still scoreless in the middle of the 7th, but Tech finally got a run on Serratos’ single and Luke Waddell’s RBI double with two outs. It seemed like it might be enough in such a game, but the starters were through for the night.

Keyton Gibson came in to try and preserve the 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, he loaded the bases with nobody out on two singles to the Dunn brothers and a walk. Tristin English moved to the mound and McCann moved from DH to first base. Back to back doubles made it 4-1 very quickly, still with no outs. After a groundout, Tristin gave the ball to Luke Bartnicki and went back to first base. After another RBI single made it 5-1, the inning finally ended.

NW finally took Lavelle out for junior RHP Nick Paciorek, who struck out the Jackets in order in the 8th. Hugh Chapman pitched for Tech in the ninth. After two outs, he gave up a single and was relieved by Joseph Mannelly, who gave up a long third out to the warning track in right. Paciorek retired the Jackets again in the ninth, to preserve the well earned win for Lavelle. Gibson took the rough loss, as the starting pitching was even, but the bullpen battle went to Northwestern this game. Tech fell to 7-4 and was disappointed to not complete the 5-0 week. They play home and home versus KSU this week, then ACC play at Miami.