Georgia Tech Defeats No. 9 Duke 8-6 To Win Series, Possibly Take a Step Towards The Postseason

Georgia Tech Baseball vs Duke
Georgia Tech Baseball vs Duke / Georgia Tech Athletics

Georgia Tech had a chance to get another series win over a ranked ACC opponent today and they took advantage of it. The Yellow Jackets have been firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble and need every win they could get. After having a poor performance on the mound yesterday, Georgia Tech got a really strong performance from Tate McKee, who struck out nine batters and only allowed three runs in 6.1 IP's. Dawson Brown closed the game out strong as well. The offense got a pair of home runs from Cam Jones and Payton Green and a pair of hits from Vahn Lackey and Trey Yunger.

It was also the 1,200th career win at Georgia Tech for Danny Hall.

After clinching a spot in the ACC Tournament yesterday and getting the series win today, they are moving closer towards their goal of making the postseason.

Georgia Tech baseball scored four in the bottom of the seventh and got lockdown closing pitching to take down No. 9 Duke, 8-6, on Sunday afternoon at Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium.

Through five innings, Tech owned a 2-1 lead thanks to RBI singles from Bobby Zmarzlak and Drew Burress. Then in the sixth, Payton Green and Cam Jones hit back-to-back home runs to pad the lead.

Duke refused to go quietly, however, hitting three-run and two-run homers in the seventh to steal the lead and make it 6-4.

But Tech was determined, getting runners on and letting the hitters work. John Giesler drove pulled them within one run on a sac fly before Cam Jones mashed a go-ahead, two-run single to left field. In his first at-bat of the day, freshman Carson Kerce also came through in the seventh, blasting a 3-2 pitch through the left side to plate one more insurance run.

The Jackets then turned to Brett Thomas and Brown to close. Thomas got the first two outs of the eighth, before Brown slammed the door with 1.1 scoreless innings to earn his third save of the season. Riley Stanford (2-0) received the win, getting the final out of the seventh.

Duke was led by Alex Stone, who went 2-for-5 with a home run. RHP Jackson Emus (0-1) received the loss, surrendering three runs on one hit without recording an out (All Stats and Info courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics).

Some stats and info courtesy of Georgia Tech Atheltics:

  • With the win, Georgia Tech has now won six ACC series this season, more than any team in the conference other than Clemson (7);
  • Facing the third-toughest schedule in the nation four weeks ago, Georgia Tech has series wins over No. 16 Virginia Tech, No. 10 Virginia and No. 9 Duke, as well as a sweep over No. 13 NC State and series wins against Pitt and Miami;
  • Georgia Tech hit .369 for the weekend, mashing six doubles, a triple and six home runs for 29 runs (28 RBI). Tech also drew 17 walks to reach base at a .452 clip;
  • In two games this weekend, Bobby Zmarzlak led the team with a .500 average, going 4-for-8 with two doubles. Carson Kerce hit .429, while Cam Jones hit .417 with five hits, a home run and four RBI, also stealing three bases;
  • Drew Burress (.400) and Vahn Lackey (.400) rounded out the .400 hitters, while Matthew Ellis (.364), John Giesler (.357), Payton Green (.333) and Mike Becchetti (.308) rounded out the .300 hitters;
  • Giesler led the team with eight RBI on three doubles and a home run;
  • Dawson Brown made two appearances on the weekend, getting the winning decision on Friday and save on Sunday, pitching 3.1 innings and allowing just one hit, no runs and recording three strikeouts.

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Jackson Caudell

JACKSON CAUDELL

Jackson Caudell covers Georgia Tech Athletics and the Atlanta Hawks for FanNation