The Tech baseball team headed to Durham, NC last week looking to bring home their second consecutive ACC Tournament Championship. After what initially looked like it would be another magical run, the Jackets came up short.
Seventh seeded Georgia Tech faced seconded seeded Florida State in their first game of the tourney. Tech took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth, and with ace Buck Farmer on the hill for the Jackets, it seemed two runs may have been enough for Tech to win, but the Seminoles were able to score two runs off of Farmer in the bottom of the eighth before he was replaced by reliever Daniel Palka. With Palka pitching, Florida State took the lead 3-2 on a sacrifice fly by Stephen McGee. With the Seminoles leading 3-2 heading to the ninth, they brought in closer Robby Coles, who was sporting a 4-1 record and a 1.16 ERA on the season.
After getting the first two Tech batters out, it looked as if Coles would cruise through the ninth like he had all season, but then the fireworks began for the Jackets. With two outs in the top of the ninth, A.J. Murray took Coles deep for a solo home run to tie the game 3-3; it was Murray’s fifth home run of the season. The Jackets would go back to back when the next batter, Mott Hyde, would hit a home run to give Tech a 4-3 lead. The two home runs were the first given up by Coles all season. 4-3 would be the final score, as Tech won their fifth consecutive game at the ACC Tournament, dating back to last season.
Tech lost to Virginia 8-2 in their second game of the tournament. Tech started off hot, with three straight hits and one run to leadoff the bottom of the first, but it wouldn’t take long for Virginia starter Scott Silverstein to get it going. Silverstein threw 8.2 innings, striking out six Jackets and despite giving up ten hits, allowed only two runs. It was another rough outing for Tech starter Dusty Isaacs who gave up five earned runs and six hits to the Cavaliers in just five innings. Designated Hitter Zane Evans went 3-4 and outfielder Kyle Wren continued his solid play going 2-4 and scoring one of Tech’s two runs.In the third game, the Jackets would face Virginia Tech in a game which
Georgia Tech would have to win in order to have a shot at going to the championship game and defending their title. Freshman Jonathan King would start on the mound for the Jackets. King pitched 6.1 innings, allowing only three runs to the Hokies, but it wasn’t good enough as the Jackets came up short and lost 3-2. After the Hokies had tied the score up at two all in the bottom of the fifth, they would take the lead in the bottom of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by had Pinder, which would end up being the game winning run. Virginia Tech would win the pool, but would go on to lose to top seeded North Carolina in the championship game.
Georgia Tech will make their run for the NCAA Championship when they play Illinois this afternoon in Nashville. Tech is the second seed, and Illinois is the third seed in the Nashville Regional regional. Vanderbilt and East Tennessee State University wrap up the Nashville Regional, with Vanderbilt being the one seed, and ETSU being the region’s fourth seed.