Baseball’s win streak ends at 16

After extending their winning streak to 13 games, the No. 12 Jackets went down to face the Miami Hurricanes from March 25-27. Tech snapped Miami’s nine-game winning streak, sweeping the series with a 8-3 victory on Friday, a 12-3 victory on Saturday and a 3-1 victory to finish the series. However, the Jackets’ streak ended after falling to Mercer in a midweek game on March 29.

Junior pitcher Mark Pope earned his sixth win of the season on March 25, allowing only three runs on eight hits in seven innings. He also dished out nine strikeouts through the game, a season high. The win gave Pope his 19th career win, bringing his career record to 19-2.

At the plate, sophomore Sam Dove and junior Matt Skole recorded three hits apiece, leading the team on a 14-hit night. Eight of the nine starters recorded at least one hit.

The Jackets hit the ground running with an RBI double from junior Jake Davies in the second inning, followed by a home run by junior Jacob Esch in the third. Esch’s home run was his first of the season and gave the Jackets a 2-0 lead.

However, the Hurricanes came back to tie the game in the third. Pope allowed three hits with two outs on the board. Miami hit a RBI double followed immediately by a RBI single to even the game at 2-2.

Tech would eventually regain the lead at the top of the fourth after an error by Miami’s Harold Martinez. Freshman Mott Hyde capitalized and scored on the play.

Then, the Jackets would score two more runs in the fifth inning and eventually pull the game out of Miami’s reach in the eighth. Freshman Zane Evans and freshman Daniel Palka each had an RBI hit en route to a three-run inning.

The score remained the same through the rest of the game, giving the Jackets the 8-3 victory with sophomore pitcher Luke Bard coming in relief of Pope. Bard only allowed two hits through the rest of the game.

After the Friday night victory, the Jackets pushed to continue the nation’s longest winning streak. Tech, however, would struggle to put the Hurricanes away, pushing the game into a 10th inning. The Jackets eventually did find success at the plate late, hitting nine runs in the 10th and winning 12-3.

Freshman relief pitcher Devin Stanton earned the win, facing only one batter with two outs in the ninth inning. Stanton prevented the game-winning run, however, earning his only strikeout with a runner on third base.

Junior starting pitcher Jed Bradley played well through 6.1 innings, with eight strikeouts, one walk and two runs allowed. However, he did not earn the win on the day due to late lead change.

The game started off slowly with the scoreboard tied at 0-0 through the third inning. Hyde broke the silence, hitting a two RBI single deep into right field at the top of the fourth.

Tech would struggle in the fifth, committing three errors and allowing a single RBI from Miami’s designated hitter Dale Carey.

Davies would respond quickly in the sixth, hitting a solo home run towards left field. The Jackets held a two-run lead through the bottom of the seventh before the Hurricanes came roaring back.

The Hurricanes started the seventh inning with a walk, a single and a sac bunt to load the bases. Carey would eventually hit a single RBI to left field to cut Tech’s lead to just one. Immediately after, another single RBI toward second base would tie the game at 3-3.

The game would remain tied through the ninth, taking the game into an extra inning. The Jackets started the extra period with a hit by freshman Kyle Wren, followed by a bunt by Esch. However, Wren was tagged out after a fielder’s choice on the bunt. Afterward, Skole popped a high hit over third base only to put a second out on the scoreboard.

Junior Evan Martin then came into the game as a pinch hitter for Palka and hit a two-run homer towards left field to begin a nine- run streak through the rest of the 10th. Eventually Hyde would pull through with a three-run homerun, pulling the game out of reach and sealing the game.

The Jackets had seven hits in the 10th.

Miami pitcher Daniel Miranda was credited with the loss, allowing four hits and four runs in 1.2 innings.

After the late success from the previous game, the Jackets were looking to keep their streak going. Sophomore Buck Farmer pitcher Buck Farmer got the start, holding the Hurricanes to three hits and one run over eight innings.

It was another late victory, with the two winning runs coming in the ninth inning to secure the 3-1 win and series sweep. This marked the first time the Jackets have ever swept the Hurricanes at Miami.

Farmer finished the day with nine strikeouts and no walks en route to his fourth win of the season.

Miami drew first blood, hitting a leadoff double in the third inning, and then earning their run on a fielder’s choice RBI. The 1-0 lead gave the Hurricanes their only lead of the series.

The Jackets, however, tied the game in the fifth inning, continuing their hitting success with two outs. Sophomore Sam Dove hit a RBI single to right field, scoring Palka to wrap up the inning.

At the top of the ninth, the Jackets scored a pair of runs on a RBI double from Skole, followed by a bunt by Evans two hitters later to bring Skole in. The Jackets held onto a 3-1 lead , when sophomore pitcher Luke Bard posted his third save of the year in relief for Farmer. Farmer struck out his first at plate, followed by a double play to end the game two hitters later.

The Jackets then returned home after extending their win streak to 16 at Miami. Tech only had to go through the Mercer Bears to continue their streak. However, they stumbled late in the game and saw the end of their nation-leading win streak.

The Jackets took the lead early, with Skole hitting a RBI double towards right field in the first to score Wren. After a pitching showdown between both teams, Tech scored again in the fourth off of a single by freshman Chase Butler to score Davies from second base.

Mercer would come back. Tech freshman pitcher Matthew Grimes allowed two singles to start off the fifth inning.

Then, after a strikeout, Derrick Workman of Mercer hit a single that gave Mercer their first run of the game. Then, in the seventh, the Bears would hit a RBI single bunt to tie the game at 2-2 with two outs.

The Bears then sealed the game when freshman relief pitcher Dusty Isaacs allowed a double in the eighth inning to give Mercer two more runs. Tech struggled in the majority of the innings to strike out the leadoff hitter, allowing five leadoff walks.

The Jackets could not find a way to respond to Mercer and eventually fell, 4-2.

The Jackets will look to rebound and start a new streak at Duke in their weekend series from April 1-3.

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