Going for a sweep on Senior Day – and a chance to win the ACC regular season title – Tech sent Cort Roedig (2-1, 4.66) to the mound against freshman righty Billy Corcoran. Corcoran was their most effective pitcher of the weekend, stymying Jacket hitters all day while getting a lot of love from the home plate umpire.
A walk and single led to Pitt putting runners on the corners with one out in the 1st, but Roedig notched his second and third strikeouts to strand them. Pitt got out of a very similar situation in the bottom of the 1st.
In Pitt’s 2nd, a single and homer by Yanni gave them an instant 2-0 lead. Webb doubled with two outs and stole third in the bottom of the 2nd, but a great catch by Pitt’s third baseman falling over the railing got out three. In the big blow, Roedig fell behind 6-0 on a grand slam by Yanni in the 3rd, having loaded the bases by hitting batters. Everything was after two outs! The Jackets would need another comeback, if possible.
Three straight singles by McCann, English, and Radcliff scored Tech’s first run after two outs in the bottom of the 3rd before Colin Hall hit a soft liner to the second baseman that was ruled caught. Tech kept playing and appealed the catch, but it was upheld, the score 6-1.
Jake Lee pitch the 4th and got a needed zero, working around a single. Keyton Gibson pitched the 5th, walking a batter but picking him off first with 2 homer Yanni batting.
After another depressingly efficient inning by Corcoran, Gibson got in a jam in the top of the 6th by loading the bases with one out on a single and two walks. Fortunately, a timely 6-4-3 DP kept it 6-1. The Jackets got another run in their 6th when Nick Wilhite’s two out single scored Radcliff to make it 6-2.
Walker Barlow came in to pitch to Pitt in the 7th, but only faced one batter to give up a double before Jonathan Hughes came on. He got a grounder to deep short that Waddell made a super play on for out one. It was reviewed but not changed. Unfortunately, a couple of wild pitches scored the runner with two outs to make it 7-2. Worse, after a walk, Yanni hit his third homer for his 7th and 8th RBI to make it a daunting 9-2. Corcoran was finally done and righty junior Chris Gomez came in to pitch the 7th for Pitt.
The Jackets could only get one run on two singles in their 7th when Radcliff’s sacrifice fly scored Guldberg to make it 9-3. Charlie Benson came in to play third and Webb went to first as Micah Carpenter pitched the 8th. He stranded Panthers on the corners with pop up outs for the final two outs of the inning.
In the Tech 8th, slight hope was extinguished when Nick Wilhite hit a sharp line drive into the glove of the shortstop who was heading to second base since Austin was running on the pitch. It was an easy unassisted double play. Robert Winborne came in to pitch the 9th, all of Tech’s senior pitchers getting action. Winborne had a 1-2-3 inning, though Yanni drove the ball deep to left, flirting with a fourth homerun. He nearly doubled his yearly total this weekend with four in the three games.
Dan Hammer, the junior righty who had started Thursday, came in to pitch the 9th. This is Pitt’s last game, since they didn’t qualify for the ACC. Hammer had no real trouble as Pitt finished their season on a high note, improving to 21-34 (8-22) and Tech fell to 38-16 (19-11) and finishing 2nd in the ACC and No. 2 seed in the tournament. Corcoran got the win, Roedig the loss. Tech showed most of their strengths – and weaknesses – in this series. They would do well to minimize the latter going forward. Hopefully, Xzavion Curry will return soon, at least by the Regional.