Baseball wins first ACC series of the season

Senior catcher Jack Rubenstein hits the ball in Friday’s game against Notre Dame. The Jackets were victorious over the Fighting Irish 7-4 on Friday and won one of the two Saturday games. // Photo courtesy of GTAA via Eldon Lindsay

Tech baseball secured their first ACC wins of the season last weekend against Notre Dame. The Jackets won the opener on Friday night with a 7-4 comeback win. Tech split Saturday’s doubleheader with a 15-2 victory in the first game and a 17-4 loss in the series finale. 

In game one, Tech had an early lead (2-0) in the third inning that quickly disappeared in the top of the fifth when junior starting pitcher Dawson Brown gave up four runs to the Fighting Irish. Prior to the fifth inning, Brown had pitched a fair game with five strikeouts. 

Tech scored in the sixth inning, but the bats got hot in the seventh and the Jackets sent four across the plate. Senior catcher Jack Rubenstein hit his third home run of the season with a solo shot that ignited the Jackets. The other three runs were scored by junior third-baseman Drew Compton, sophomore second-baseman Nicholas Romano and redshirt freshman designated hitter Kristian Campbell. Rubenstein and Compton were joined by junior center fielder Jake DeLeo as the hit leaders of the night, each recording two. Rubenstein, senior left fielder Angelo Dispigna, redshirt sophomore first-baseman Jackson Finley and freshman shortstop Nico Senese combined for five RBIs. Tech’s star closer, sophomore pitcher Terry Busse, solidified the Jackets’ win with the last six outs, including four strikeouts. 

The Jackets came out hot in game two of the series, winning 15-2. They scored in each of the first four innings, sending a combined 11 runs across the plate. The run support was appreciated — albeit unnecessary — by Finley as starting pitcher, who only gave up three hits, one walk and one run in almost five innings. Freshman pitcher Luke Schmolke followed Finley and finished out the game for Tech with two walks, two hits and one run. 

Across the diamond, the pitching situation was the opposite of efficient as the Fighting Irish sent seven to the mound, with the longest only making it through two innings. The aforementioned Jackets offense was tough to match from the mound. DeLeo, Dispigna, Compton, Finley, junior right fielder Stephen Reid and junior second-baseman Jadyn Jackson combined for 12 of Tech’s 17 hits, racking up two apiece. Finley hit a home run to reach number seven on the season, and Compton led the team in RBIs with three. 

Game three of the series for Tech was what game two of the series was for Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish walked away with a 17-4 win. The Jackets got into an early hole when junior starting pitcher Josiah Siegel allowed five runs to cross in the first inning. Tech fought back in the second and third innings, scoring two and one respectively, but they could not keep up with the offensive production of Notre Dame. 

Eight Jackets took the mound, and the best performance of the day was from junior pitcher Dalton Smith, who faced two batters without giving up a run. Offensively for the Jackets, Reid was red hot. Reid batted 3-for-4 with a home run (5) and three RBIs. Dispigna followed Reid with two hits. 

While the Jackets did lose in the series finale, they secured their first ACC series win of the season against Notre Dame. The Jackets are in Louisville, Ky. this weekend to take on their next ACC opponent, the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals.