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Baseball: #25 Georgia Tech Defeats Boston College 6-0 in ACC Tournament Play-In Game, to Face #1 Miami in Pool Play

A strong pitching performance from Brandon Gold and Matthew Gorst led the Yellow Jackets deeper into the ACC Tournament.

Brandon Gold 2015 Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Georgia Tech made it to the ACC Tournament as 9th seed, and played 8th seed Boston College for its play-in game; the same Eagles team that had just won 2 out of 3 in Atlanta the previous weekend. The pitchers were Brandon Gold (7-3, 2.55) versus Jesse Adams (5-4, 4.20).

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
#25 Georgia Tech (36-20) 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 3 6 13 0
Boston College (31-20) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0

As visitors, the Jackets led off without success despite a leadoff walk to Justus. In the bottom, Gold showed his infielder heritage by pouncing on a sacrifice bunt attempt and throwing the runner out at 2nd. Later, Arden Pabst threw out a steal attempt and the Jackets held their opponents scoreless in the 1st inning for the first time in seven games!

The Jackets jumped on top in the 3rd on a Connor Justus double and Wade Bailey RBI single. Bailey then continued his super-aggressive base running by tagging up at 1st and taking 2nd on a Matt Gonzalez sac fly, but he could advance no further. In the bottom, BC put runner on 1st and 3rd with one out, but Gold pitched out of trouble with a strikeout and fly out to end the inning.

In Tech’s 4th, Craport blasted a home run over the big wall in left to make it 2-0. (Fox Sports lost the signal from Durham at this point, so thank goodness for Wiley and Nick on WREK.) Then in the 5th, walks to Justus and Gonzalez ended Adams’ day after 4.1 innings and Mike King (who had started last Thursday) came in for Boston College. He did his job to perfection, coaxing a first-pitch double play from Kel Johnson to end the inning. In the bottom, Gold gave up a leadoff single but benefitted from the Jackets’ nation-leading 72nd double play and got out of the inning with only 61 total pitches – a thankfully low count for throwing on short rest.

In the Jackets' 6th, Tristin English singled, took 2nd on a wild pitch, and eventually scored on a Brandt Stallings double to make it 3-0 with one out. Stallings daringly went to 3rd on a Ryan Peurifoy groundout to the shortstop, but was unable to score in the inning.

BC got the first two on in the bottom of the 6th, with a potential double play bouncing over a diving Bailey’s glove. A ground ball out was followed by a hit batsman to load the bases. A shallow fly to right got out number two and a groundout to 2nd ended a potential disaster with no damage. Gold was at 80 pitches through 6 innings.

Tech stranded two in the top of the 7th, and Gold returned for the bottom. With one out and a runner on 1st, pinch hitter Chris Balogh singled, putting runners on the corners. Brandon got a strikeout for the second out, and Matthew Gorst came in to pitch. Gold had thrown 91 gutsy, scoreless pitches. After a walk loaded the bases, Gorst got a fly out to preserve the shutout.

The Jackets stranded two in their eighth, and Gorst returned for the bottom of the frame to go for his 12th save. Sciortino led off with a deep fly to dead center that Peurifoy tracked down. After a single, a "reverse" double play, 1st to 2nd, ended the 8th with Tech still leading. It was the Jackets’ 73rd double play of the year.

John Nicklas came in to pitch for BC in the 9th. Matt Gonzalez greeted him with a blast to left over the wall near where Craport’s had gone. That tied Gonzalez for 5th all-time with Jay Payton on Georgia Tech’s career hits list at 287, and made this game 4-0. All-ACC 1st Baseman Tristin English went deep two batters later with Johnson on base to make it 6-0. After a Craport single, BC went to Bobby Scogsbergh, who got two outs to end the Tech 9th.

BC led off their 9th with a line drive single off Craport’s glove and a line out to Stallings. After a strikeout, pinch hitter Gino Martellini grounded out and the Jackets advanced to pool play.

I think the team will take this game in trade for the Saturday sweep by BC. They play Miami Wednesday at 3:00pm. BC will join Duke, who lost their game to Wake Forest, in waiting and hoping at home.