No. 9 Tar Heels Edge Jackets 7-4 on Sunday
Georgia Tech baseball returns to Russ Chandler Stadium on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
THE FLATS – The Yellow Jackets got five strong innings from freshman pitcher Jay Shadday and a two-run home run from freshman Kyle McCann, yet gave up four unearned runs over the final two innings of play to fall to the No. 9 North Carolina Tar Heels 7-4 on Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Georgia Tech falls to 12-6 overall and 2-4 in the ACC with the loss, while UNC moves to 15-5 and 4-2 in league play with the series win.
In his first career start as a Yellow Jacket, Shadday pitched a career-high 5.0 innings and kept the Tar Heels off the scoreboard. The lefty gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out a career-high eight hitters in the no-decision.
The middle of the Tech order in Joey Bart (2-for-4, 2 doubles, RBI, run), Kel Johnson (2-for-4, double) and McCann (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBIs, run) combined to go 5-for-13 with three RBIs in the loss. Junior Trevor Craport went 1-for-4 with an RBI and extended his on-base streak to 18 straight games.
Pitching for the third straight day out of the bullpen, senior Zac Ryan (2-1) was unfortunate to pick up the loss, as the Tar Heels scored four unearned runs on three Tech errors over the final two innings of the contest. Ryan gave up just two hits and walked one over the eighth and ninth innings.
The Tar Heels had a trio of players with two hits apiece in Ashton McGee (2-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs), Tyler Lynn (2-for-3, double, run) and Logan Warmoth (2-for-4, triple, 2 runs).
As Shadday cruised through the first five innings of the contest, giving up a walk in the first and two hits in the fourth, the Jackets took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the third on a Bart RBI double and a two-run home run off the bat of McCann.
Tech added a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Craport, which plated Austin Wilhite who led off the inning with a single, to push its lead to 4-0 through four complete innings.
The Tar Heel bats finally broke through in the top of the sixth, as Warmoth led off the inning with a triple to center and then scored on a McGee two-run home run to cut the Jackets’ lead to two at 4-2.
However, UNC took advantage of a hit batsman, a walk, a wild pitch and a ground out to second base to score a third run in the top half of the inning to put the score at 4-3 in favor of the home team.
The Jackets got out of trouble in the seventh to keep the score at 4-3, but had no such luck in the eighth as the Tar Heels had a lead-off double and then took advantage of a Tech throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt to tie the game up at 4-4.
Following a sac bunt, the Tar Heels got a sacrifice fly from pitch hitter Michael Busch to put the visitors in front for the first time all game at 5-4.
Georgia Tech had the go-ahead run on base in the bottom of the eighth, but couldn’t push across a run and stranded two base runners to go to the ninth down 5-4.
North Carolina added some insurance runs in the top of the ninth with the help of two Jacket errors to push its lead to three at 7-4.
With their backs against the wall and down three runs in their final at bat, the Jackets refused to quit as Johnson led off the inning with a double to center. After McCann was hit by a pitch, the tying run came up to the plate.
Yet, UNC closer Josh Hiatt (7) was able to strike out the next three Tech batters to pick up his seventh save of the season and help the Tar Heels escape with the 7-4 road win.
UNC’s Brett Daniels (1-0) earned the win in a relief effort, striking out nine over 4.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
The Jackets (12-6, 2-4 ACC) step out of conference play for a midweek contest at home versus the Auburn Tigers on Tuesday night, Mar. 21, at 6 p.m. ET.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) March 19, 2017
* Trevor Craport has now reached base safely in 18 straight games and all 18 games this season.
* Kyle McCann hit his third home run of the season in the third inning.
* Jay Shadday pitched a career-high 5.0 innings in his first career start at the intercollegiate level.
* Jay Shadday struck out a career-high eight batters on the day.