The Jackets have beaten every other instate team this season except the dwags, and faced their last shot at the new home of the Braves. Tech was coming off a three game sweep of Pittsburgh while uga had beaten Kentucky two out of three in Lexington over the weekend. The game was not televised at all, so I am going from WREK and Gametracker. GT was the home team.
Tuesday: georgia 8, Georgia Tech 7
Ben Schneiderjans (2-4, 4.5) faced off against freshman right hander Tony Locey on a pre-announced staff night.
Tech threatened in the bottom of the 1st with Craport and Peurifoy on the corners with one out, but Johnson grounded into a double play. A double play again benefitted the dwags in the 2nd when Stallings grounded into one with Wilhite and Murray on. After Tech’s wasted chances, uga struck with a leadoff walk, single, bunt, and RBI sacrifice fly to lead 1-0 in the middle of the 3rd.
After giving up a double that advanced to third on a fly ball, Schneiderjans was relieved by Jared Datoc with two outs. Freshman Connor Thomas came in for his college debut – no pressure! (He had been academically ineligible until finishing Spring semester.). He struck out McGovern to end the inning -something he’ll never forget. Unfortunately, his next inning didn't go as well. He gave up a single, walk, sacrifice bunt, RBI single, and RBI sacrifice fly to make it 3-0. Fortunately, Bailey made a nice play charging a soft grounder to get out three without further damage.
Zac Kristofak relieved Locey for the Tech 5th. The Jackets loaded the bases on him after two outs and Ryan Peurifoy came through big time with a bases clearing double to tie it up. Kel Johnson matched him with his own double to make it 4-3 and Kristofak was done. Drew Moody came in and ended the inning.
Unfortunately, the lead only lasted through one out as a double, single, and wild pitch tied it at four. After Thomas made a nice play to get out two at third, he threw the ball away on a pick off throw to first, allowing the runner to advance to third. Jared Datoc came in and gave up the go-ahead run on a perfect bunt single by Biggar before getting out three. The Jackets got Wilhite to 3rd in the bottom of the 6th, but no further, with the score still 5-4.
The situation got a lot worse in the top of the 7th when a two out, two run double made it 7-4. It was uga’s third consecutive two run inning.
The Jackets kept battling in the bottom of the 7th, with Peurifoy doubling and Johnson and Poje hitting singles to score the fifth run. After Wilhite struck out, Ryan Avidano relieved Moody to face pinch hitting Xzavion Curry with two outs. Curry punched the first pitch into right field to score Johnson for the sixth run and was immediately replaced by pinch runner Nick Wilhite. Not a bad one minute! The score was 7-6 after seven.
Micah Carpenter pitched for Tech in the 8th and retired the dwags. After McCann walked to lead off the 8th, Tim Elliott came in to pitch for Avidano. McCann moved to second on a Bailey bunt and scored the tying run on Craport’s single.
An incredible and sickening series of events in the 9th led to uga taking the lead. With two outs and nobody on, the home plate ump ruled that Carpenter’s strike three was a foul tip in the dirt, which then led to a walk. The next batter ripped a single that somehow scored the runner. There was no TV, but Coach Hall and the radio announcers were adamant that no such thing seemed to have happened on the pitch, and the ump never asked his crew for help. Regardless, Tech trailed by one.
The Jackets kept fighting and both Wilhite twins worked walks from Elliott, leading to Blakely Brown relieving him with one out and two on. After he got Stallings to pop out, Justin Glover (a HS teammate of the Wilhite twins) came in to pitch to McCann and got him to ground out to preserve the tainted win. Elliott was credited with the win, Carpenter the loss, and Glover the save.
Being swept by your main rivals, especially in such a questionable manner, has to hurt. Hopefully, Tech players will turn this into righteous anger, realizing that ACC play is what really matters and beating Duke this weekend is crucial.Tuesday