Baseball loses UNC series

The Jackets were able to take the final game of the series against No. 3 North Carolina in Cary last weekend, but had very lackluster showings in the other two games.

On Friday night, Tech’s lone run came off the bat of junior Charlie Blackmon when he hit his third home run of the season. Friday pitcher junior David Duncan gave up five earned runs in five and two-thirds innings before giving way to the bullpen. For the Tarheels, Alex White picked up the win (5-2) with seven innings of shutout ball. Duncan fell to 4-1 with the loss.

Carolina scored a run in each of the first three innings. Dustin Ackley led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run. Ackley also drove in the second inning run with an RBI single. A strikeout and two walks later, the bases were loaded for Garrett Gore’s RBI single to make it a 3-0 lead for the Heels.

The sixth inning proved to be a back-breaker for the Jackets. The Heels pushed across five runs in the bottom frame for the eight-run lead. All five runs were scored with two outs in the inning. Federowicz doubled to open the inning and advanced to third on a groundout. After a strikeout and the groundout that advanced the runner, Kyle Shelton singled home the runner. Fedroff then singled on a 1-0 pitch and advanced the runner to second. Sophomore Andrew Robinson then took over for Duncan. Robinson’s 1-2 pitch was driven through the left side for an RBI single by Chad Flack.

The game was still a manageable 5-0 at that point. Tony Plagman’s error allowed Fedroff to score. Garrett Gore then doubled to center field to drive in Flack and Kyle Seager. That hit made it 8-0. Blackmon’s home run in the eighth made the final score 8-1.

Saturday’s game was rained out and pushed back. Junior Eddie Burns pitched the early game on Sunday for the Jackets. Burns threw five innings, giving up six runs before giving way to the bullpen. Burns (4-2) took the loss, while Adam Warren kept his record a perfect 5-0.

The Jackets let the game get away early when the Tarheels scored five runs in the bottom of the second inning. Seth Williams walked to open the inning; the walk was followed by Mark Fleury’s single that advanced Williams to second. Garrett Gore reached on a fielder’s choice, which saw Fleury get tagged out by the second baseman. Tim Federowicz reached first after getting hit by a pitch.

Shelton then singled home Williams and Gore, and Federowicz advanced to third. Ackley followed with a ball in play that scored Federowicz, while Shelton was tagged out at second. Ackley stole second and scored on Fedroff’s single. The run made the game 4-0 before Flack drove in Ackley with an RBI single.

In the fourth inning, Fedroff walked with two outs. Seager drove him in with an RBI double to left-center to make the game 6-0. Tech was able to cut the lead in half on four hits. Blackmon singled to lead off the inning; he advanced to second when freshman Derek Dietrich followed with a single. Blackmon advanced to third on a wild pitch ahead of Plagman’s single to left field that plated Blackmon and moved Dietrich to second. Junior Luke Murton hit a double to follow that scored Dietrich and Plagman.

The pendulum began to swing for the Jackets in the third game—a balanced game that brought Tech a win. Sophomore Zach Von Tersch pitched seven shutout innings for the Jackets.

Offensively, the Jackets got things started off in a hurry. Freshman Jeff Rowland struck out looking to start the game. Freshman Thomas Nichols then doubled and scored on Blackmon’s RBI single. Dietrich flied out ahead of Murton’s double with two outs that scored Blackmon.

The Jackets scored twice more in the fourth. With two outs, freshman back-up catcher Cole Leonida singled and advanced to third on Rowland’s double.

Both runners scored when Nichols hit a double to right field. Von Tersch took the win moving to 4-1, while Matt Harvey (4-2) took the loss.