Baseball wins back-to-back series against ACC rivals

Tech’s baseball team squared off against ACC foes in consecutive weekends, hosting Miami in the first series and heading to Boston College in the second series. The Jackets took two of the three games in each series, putting them at 21-9 in conference play and 44-11 overall.

Having winning two games against Miami, the Jackets traveled up to Chestnut Hill on May 20 to open their three games against Boston College. This time, Tech took the first two of the series, falling to the Eagles in the third game but still taking the series edge.

In the opener, Tech started junior right-hander Deck McGuire on the mound. In six innings, McGuire gave up five hits and just one earned run, striking out six in the process. The win put McGuire’s record at 8-3 on the year.

Boston College took an early 1-0 lead, as first baseman Mickey Wiswall hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first to give the Eagles the edge. Tech rallied in the top of the second, recording five runs on five hits to give them a three run lead. Junior catcher Cole Leonida opened things up with a two-run homer. Two RBI singles and a sacrifice fly accounted for the other three runs.

The Eagles added another run in the bottom of the third, but again, the Jackets responded. Back-to-back homers by junior shortstop Derek Dietrich and senior first baseman Tony Plagman gave Tech two in the top of the fifth, and they continued hitting well to add three more before the Eagles could record the inning’s final out.

A two-run shot by sophomore third baseman Matt Skole in the fifth gave Tech a 12-2 lead, and a solo homer by junior right fielder Chase Burnette in the next inning pushed the score to 13-2. Although BC added six more runs over the last three innings, Tech’s offense proved too much. The Jackets notched two final runs in the ninth to give them 15 runs on the day, and the Eagles’ one run in the bottom of the inning was too little to overcome Tech’s lead.

In the second game of the series, Tech scraped past BC to win, 7-5. Pope, who started for the Jackets, gave up eight hits and three earned runs in four and one-third innings.

Both teams were scoreless through two innings, but Tech jumped on the board in the top of the third. An RBI single by Dietrich and a sacrifice fly by Plagman provided two runs for the Jackets, putting them up 2-0 early. The Eagles drove in one of their own in the bottom of the inning, but Tech notched two more in the fourth to extend its lead to 4-1.

BC added one in the fourth and two more in the fifth to tie the game, but a wild pitch with bases loaded in the sixth gave Tech the go-ahead run, putting them up 5-4 with three innings left to play.

Two sacrifice flies over the next two innings put the Jackets ahead 7-4, and the Eagles one run in the bottom of the eighth was not enough to steal the lead, giving the Jackets the win and the series.

The final game was not as favorable for Tech, as BC maintained a consistent attack to beat the Jackets, 6-3. Bradley took the mound for Tech, scattering six hits and five runs (three earned) over six innings.

Tech’s offense was quiet through the first four innings, giving the Eagles a chance to take an early lead. BC scored four over the course of four innings.

However, the Jackets struck in the fifth by driving in three runs to pull within one.

Another BC run in the sixth gave them a 5-3 advantage, and they added one more two innings later to take a 6-3 lead that would carry them through the ninth.

Despite the three-run fifth inning, Tech’s bats were silent for much of the game. In fact, the Jackets were hitless for the final three and two-thirds innings.

Although they dropped the final game against the Eagles, the Jackets still took the series, securing their second-place spot in the ACC Coastal standings heading into the ACC tournament.

With the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament, Tech did not play on Wednesday, May 25 and faced No. 6 seed Virginia Tech on Thursday, May 27. Tech plays No. 7 N.C. State on May 28 and No. 2 Clemson on May 29 in round-robin play.