Connor Thomas pitches 2 hit, 1 walk complete game 2-0 shutout over Pitt.
Still holding onto a slim one game lead in the Coastal, Tech sent ace Connor Thomas (8-1, 3.43) to the mound against junior RHP Dan Hammer (3-7, 6.90). Thomas pitched an absolute gem, while Pitt pitching was very good from both starter and reliever, but not good enough.
Tech struck in the bottom of the 1st when Guldberg scored from first on McCann’s double off the right field wall. After Thomas retired the Panthers in the second, there was a 30 minute delay for lightning within 10 miles.
After resuming the game, Tech added one in their 3rd when Guldberg scored on a balk after reaching on a fielder’s choice and stealing second and going to third on an error. The Jackets left the bases loaded however, leading only 2-0 and neither team knowing the scoring was over.
Pitt got their first hit in the 4th, but the highlight of the inning was Nick Wilhite’s sliding catch of a sinking line drive.
In the Tech 6th, Austin Wilhite led off with a single and Webb laid down a perfect bunt that he appeared to beat out – it was reviewed with no change. Unfortunately, Nick Wilhite, Waddell, nor Guldberg could advance them, so it was still a slim 2-0 lead after six with both starting pitchers in the game.
After a superb five pitch 7th inning for Thomas, Chase Smith, a sophomore righty from Marietta, Ga. relieved Hammer, who had pitched very well but his pitch count was up to 114. Smith struck out McCann, English, and Radcliff, quite a feat. Thomas continued to pitch super efficiently in the 8th, getting his 9th K.
After Smith easily got through the bottom of the 8th, Thomas came back to a standing O, with English having warmed up if needed. He wasn’t needed as Thomas got the first two outs on come-backers to the mound before giving up the Panthers’ second hit to McLaren. With slugger Popa on deck, Perry hit a grounder right to English for the third out and the shutout victory.
It only took Thomas 93 pitches to get the win, and Hammer got the hard luck loss. Tech improved to 38-15 (19-10) while Pitt fell to 20-34 (7-22). UNC is eliminated and if Miami loses, Tech clinches the Coastal with their 10th consecutive series win – 9th in the ACC.