Jackets drop three of five contests

After a midweek loss to rival Georgia, the Jackets faced a three game series on the road beginning Friday, March 23, against the Boston College Eagles. The Jackets came into the series with a 14-7 record overall and at 3-3 in the ACC, but the Jackets came out of the weekend with a 15-9 record overall and a 4-5 conference record after dropping the first two games of the series.

In the first game of the series, junior pitcher Buck Farmer dropped to 4-2 on the season as the Jackets allowed 19 hits en route to a 15-7 loss. Farmer only pitched for 4.1 innings, allowing 14 hits and 11 earned runs before junior Clay Dalton came in to relieve him for the remaining innings.

The 15 runs and 19 hits were both season-high’s allowed by the Jackets, giving league-worst Boston College their first conference win of the year.

At the plate, the Jackets had a decent outing, posting 12 hits and earning seven runs, highlighted by sophomore Mott Hyde’s three-for-four hitting day. Junior Sam Dove extended his hitting streak to 13 games, also having a strong day with a three-for-five effort.

The Jackets began the day quickly, taking a 1-0 lead at the top of the first inning on singles by junior Brandon Thomas, senior Jake Davies and sophomore Zane Evans. However, Boston College responded with Farmer’s first pitch going over the right fence to tie the game at 1-1. Tech then retook a 2-1 lead after a solo home run by Hyde before the Eagles posted four runs over two innings to take a 5-3 lead.

The game then fell apart for the Jackets at the bottom of the fifth inning when Boston College got 13 batters to the plate, resulting in seven runs on five hits. The Jackets could not overcome the deficit, effectively allowing the Eagles to coast to the victory.

Due to approaching inclement weather on Sunday, the teams agreed to play a doubleheader the next day, in which the Jackets split the contests.

In the first game of the doubleheader, Boston College earned a walk off victory, posting two runs at the bottom of the ninth inning to win 4-3.

Junior Luke Bard started for the day pitching for seven innings, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks. However, Davies was charged with his first loss of the year, after coming in to relieve Bard and allowing the two late runs. Both of the ninth inning runs were unearned runs.

Dove extended his hitting streak again with an early first inning single. Following Dove’s hit; singles by Thomas and Davies gave the Jackets the first run of the day. Then, a sacrifice fly by sophomore Daniel Palka gave the Jackets a 2-0 lead.

Boston College responded in the second and third innings, posting one run per inning and evening the game at 2-2.

Tech took the lead once more in the fourth inning on a double by freshman Daniel Spingola followed by an RBI single by Hyde. The Jackets held the lead through the ninth inning before the rally by the Eagles to give the Jackets their second loss in the series.

In the second game of the doubleheader, sophomore Dusty Isaacs and freshman Cole Pitts posted the strongest pitching performance of the weekend, earning the Jackets a 2-1 win in the series finale.

Dove extended his hitting streak to a career-best 15 games, posting two of the team’s six hits in a tough hitting day for the Jackets.

The Jackets took an early lead again in the first inning with senior Evan Martin scoring off of a double play ball. Palka then extended the lead to 2-0 with an RBI single to give the Jackets their only runs of the game.

Isaacs then went to work, allowing one run over the first five innings while only allowing three hits. Isaacs managed to preserve the 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, leaving the mound with the bases loaded.

Pitts then came in to relieve Isaacs and earned his first save with the Jackets. Through the final four innings, Pitts allowed four hits with no walks and one strikeout to bring Isaacs’ record to 4-1 on the year.

Tech then returned home for a two-game midweek series at home against the Georgia Southern Eagles. The Jackets could not come out with a win on the Flats on Tuesday, March 27, losing 5-3 before bouncing back on Wednesday for the win.

In their first game against the Eagles, freshman Josh Heddinger earned the start on the mound, pitching for 6.2 innings. After posting a strong performance through the first six innings, Heddinger struggled in the seventh, forcing Head Coach Danny Hall to turn it over to the bullpen with the bases loaded. The Eagles responded with a three RBI double, effectively giving the Eagles the win. The loss was charged to Heddinger, dropping him to 1-2 on the year.

Dove continued his streak at the plate, going one-for-five on the day, while Thomas was the only Tech batter with two hits through the game. The rest of the team finished with a combined four hits.

The Eagles set the tone early, taking a 1-0 lead at the top of the first inning off of an RBI single by Stryker Brown. Tech responded in the second inning with two RBI singles by Hyde and sophomore Paul Kronenfeld. Palka then drove in the Jackets’ final run of the game off of an RBI single in the fifth inning.

The Jackets would struggle at the plate through the rest of the game, and the Eagles took advantage of that in the seventh when Georgia Southern’s Ben Morgan hit an RBI ground out to bring the score to 3-2.

Then, Eric Phillips drove in three batters off of a three-RBI double hit to left field that set the final score of the game.

Georgia Southern reliever Jarrett Leverett picked up the win in 2.2 innings of pitching striking out four batters with no walks.

The Jackets were then looking to respond the following day after the loss on Tuesday, and put together a strong hitting performance to top the Eagles 10-5. With the win, the Jackets took the season series over the Eagles.

Pitts earned the start for the day on the mound, pitching for a career-long six innings. Pitts moved to 3-1 on the year while posting a career-high eight strikeouts and allowing three runs on five hits.

At the plate, the Jackets had 14  hits to drive in their 10 runs, with Thomas and freshman Connor Lynch each posting three hits. Dove extended his hitting streak to 17 games with an RBI double in the fifth inning.

Georgia Southern was the first to score in the fourth inning, posting two runs before the Jackets would respond with three more runs of their own. After the Eagles tied the game at 3-3 at the top of the fifth, the Jackets rattled off five runs on five hits to pull away and take the lead permanently.

The Jackets will look to continue their success off of the win with a weekend series against the Duke Blue Devils beginning on Friday, March 30.