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Offensive flurry leads Jackets to 13-8 victory over Clemson

Tech took a 2-0 series lead with a bang on Saturday.

nick wilhite Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Connor Thomas (6-1, 2.83) faced redshirt sophomore LHP Mat Clark (7-1, 2.84) on Saturday. Baseball Alumni were recognized pre-game, including Lt. Gov. Duncan, who threw out the first ball.

The Tigers scored first in their 2nd with three singles, including one that Wilhite nearly caught in shallow center. Connor got out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout to end the inning. The lead only lasted until the first pitch to Radcliff in the bottom of the 2nd, since he put it over the wall to hit the scoreboard and the score was 1-1 after two.

After an uncharacteristic walk by Thomas to lead off the Clemson 3rd, Byrd golfed one over the right field wall to make it 3-1. Byrd also led off the Tiger 5th with a solo homer off the batter’s eye to make it 4-1.

When Tech finally had a multi-hit inning, loading the bases with two outs in their 5th, Clemson brought in sophomore righty Holt Jones to pitch to English. Tristin laced a 1-2 pitch to left for a two RBI single. McCann later scored on a wild pitch to tie it at 4 and Jones then walked Hall and Wilhite to push in Tech’s fifth run. Clemson went to Carson Spiers, a junior righty, who retired Webb, the Jackets up 5-4.

Once again, the lead was short lived, as Clemson used four singles – none hard hit – to score twice and go up 6-5. With two on and one out, Hugh Chapman relieved Thomas. Hugh got Byrd to fly out to deep Center field and then got out three when Webb made a nice play at third with a strong throw across to first.

Tech next got runners to the corners with one out for McCann, who grounded to second. The ball was dropped attempting the relay for a potential DP, allowing Waddell to score. Clemson appealed something, but the call stood, the game tied again.

Once again, Clemson struck back, scoring two on a hit batsman, double, and a couple of groundouts to lead 8-6.

The Jackets struck back hard in their half of 7th, with singles by Hall and Austin Wilhite followed by doubles by Webb, Nick Wilhite, and Waddell (the latter four now called the “Killer Dubs), making it 10-8. The Tigers walked McCann and brought in junior righty Owen Griffith to face English, who blasted a three run homer to center, making it 13-8.

Amos Willingham came in to pitch the 8th and retired the Tigers, aided by a DP. In the Tech 8th, Webb tripled with one out and Clemson brought in sophomore lefty Sam Weatherly to face Waddell with two outs. He retired Waddell, leaving the final score at 13-8 after Willingham retired the Tigers in order in the 9th. Tech improved to 30-13 (15-8) and Clemson fell to 26-18 (11-12). Chapman got the win, and Spiers the loss. The Jackets won five in a row for the first time in 2019 and will try for their first weekend sweep this afternoon. Winning the first two with their starting pitchers not at their best says a lot for Tech.