Coming home from a disappointing 1-2 trip to South Florida, the Jackets bounced back against the Eagles (7-7), winning 7-6.
The Statesboro game in February was rained out, and may or may not be made up. Junior RHP Tyler Owens (1-0, 0.79 ERA) pitched for the Eagles against Amos Willingham (2-0, 4.02 ERA). Neither would figure in the final of this frustrating and tense game.
After two scoreless innings, things went bad quickly for Willingham on four straight singles, including a perfect bunt with two on. Tech got out of a potentially back breaking inning with a run scoring double play 6-4-3 and a fly ball out, so the Eagles led 2-0, but it could have been much worse. Tech loaded them in the bottom of the 3rd after two outs on a ground rule double by McCann and two hit batsmen, but Colin Hall couldn’t bring them in.
Hot hitting Guldberg led off the Tech 5th with a single and scored when the Eagles misplayed English’s double off the deep Center left wall. Colin Hall next drove in Tristin English with a two out single to tie the game, English in clear discomfort from his leg as he chugged to home. After Owens walked Radcliff, the Eagles brought in senior RHP Cole Whitney. He walked Jackson Webb and Nick Wilhite drove one to left that scored Hall and seemed to score Radcliff, but a review resulted in him being out at home and Tech led 3-2 after five.
Cort Roedig relived Willingham in the 6th and worked around a lead off walk.
In the Tech 6th , Oscar Serratos battled to a 3-2 count with Guldberg and McCann on base, and his single easily scored Guldberg since he was running on the pitch. Tech led 4-2.
After a single and error put runners at 2nd and 3rd with nobody out, Keyton Gibson relieved Roedig. A bunt scored one right away for out one. A liner into Gibson’s glove for out two gave him a chance to preserve the lead, but the runner from third was able to score on a pitch that barely got past McCann to tie the game at four. Keyton still couldn’t get out of the inning, and was relieved by Jonathan Hughes after two walks. Hughes walked the bases loaded before a grounder to SS ended the inning with it tied.
Freshman RHP Jonathan Edwards came in to pitch for the Eagles and was relieved by sophomore lefty Hayden Harris with two on and two out. Back to back doubles by Guldberg and English scored three runs to put Tech up 7-4, but no lead was safe tonight with Tech’s erratic pitching.
Once again, Tech got into trouble, and Hughes gave up a run on two wild pitches and another on an 0-2 two out single before finally getting out three on a grounder to short. Tech held a slim 7-6 lead. Sophomore righty David Johnson pitched a scoreless 8 th for the Eagles. In the top of the 9th , a one out double deep off the wall in right was chased down by Nick Wilhite, who threw the runner out at 3rd . This saved the game when the next batter singled; the tying run would have scored from 2nd. It looked like Hughes could close it out, but after a walk put runners on 1st and 2nd , Luke Bartnicki came in and closed it with a five pitch strikeout for his first save. Hughes got the win and Edwards the loss as Tech improved to 11-6 and kept their in-state record perfect. The six walks, three wild pitches, and balk committed by Jacket pitchers tonight won’t cut it against Virginia this weekend.