THE FLATS – Georgia Tech matched its season-high with 16 runs on Sunday afternoon, as the Yellow Jackets trounced the No. 6 Florida State Seminoles 16-3 to clinch the series win at Russ Chandler Stadium. It is the second-straight ACC series win for the Jackets who swept Miami at home last weekend on March 30-April 1.
Sunday’s contest was a wild one, as it included an inside the park home run, three runs scored on three wild pitches, while another run crossed the plate on a throwing error from the catcher that hit the runner as he crossed home plate.
The Yellow Jackets drew 12 walks, tying their season-high, while the GT pitchers did not issue a walk for the entire game.
Tech’s offense was led by a career day from Austin Wilhite (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 5 RBIs, 2 runs), who had an inside the park home run and a career-high five RBIs. Fellow sophomore Kyle McCann (3-for-4, 2 2B, BB, 3 RBIs, 3 runs) had three RBIs and two doubles, both of which came in the same inning, while pitcher/designated hitter Tristin English (1-for-3, BB, RBI, run), third baseman Oscar Serratos (1-for-3, HR, 2 BB, RBI, 2 runs), outfielder Colin Hall (1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB, RBI, run) and fellow outfielder Nick Wilhite (1-for-5, RBI, run) all had one RBI each in the win.
Austin Wilhite’s inside the park home run was the first for the Jackets since Coleman Poje raced around the bases for a four-bag home run versus Savannah State on May 10, 2016, just one game after Matt Gonzalez did it versus Miami on May 9.
The Seminoles picked up double digit hits on the day, as nine of their 10 hits were singles. Lead-off hitter Mike Salvatore (3-for-4, 2B, 2 runs) led the way with three hits, one of which was a double, and scored two of the three runs, while seven other Noles had one hit apiece for the game.
GT’s English (2-0) picked up his second-straight win on the mound, as the midseason all-American allowed one run on eight hits, no walks and three strikeouts over 6.0-complete innings.
Florida State starting pitcher Austin Pollock (2-3) was handed the loss, as the lefty was touched up for four runs on five hits, five walks and three strikeouts over 4.0 innings of work.
However, the Seminoles did not get any help from their bullpen, as Tech pushed across 12 earned runs on only six hits and seven walks over the final 4.0-plus innings of the contest.
For the third game in the series, the Yellow Jackets got on the scoreboard first taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Chase Murray led off the game with a walk, then motored around to third base on a single up the middle by Joey Bart. Two batters later, a wild pitch in the dirt allowed Murray to scurry in from third and put the home team on top 1-0.
The Seminoles tied the game up at 1-1 in the top of the third, on a lead-off double, a fly ball to left field and an RBI ground ball to the shortstop, only to see the Jackets retake the lead at 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI double down the left field line by Hall.
FSU put two runners on base in both the fourth and fifth innings, yet failed to score as English pitched around two base hits in the fourth and then got some help in the fifth from his teammates, as Bart threw out a would-be base stealer and Serratos made a great grab on a hard hit ground ball in the hole at third to strand two Seminoles.
The Jackets blew the game open with a seven spot in the bottom of the fifth, as McCann led off the inning with a double and then scored on an English single. Four batters later, Austin Wilhite hit a single to left field with the bases loaded to plate two more Jackets to push the lead to 5-1.
His brother Nick Wilhite followed with an RBI single off the leg of the pitcher to keep the inning going and put the score at 6-1 in favor of the White and Gold.
Hitting for the second time in the inning, McCann lined another double, his second of the frame, to right field to clear the bases and give the home team a commanding 9-1 lead going into the sixth.
Georgia Tech added two more runs in the sixth on back-to-back home runs from Serratos and Austin Wilhite, with the first one leaving the park and the second one being an inside the park home run.
After Florida State scored two runs on a pair of ground outs in the top of the seventh, the White and Gold pushed across five runs in the bottom half of the inning with the help of two wild pitches, a FSU throwing error and an Austin Wilhite two-run double to extend its lead to 13 at 16-3 with two innings to play.
Mannelly pitched a clean eighth, while Datoc followed with a 1-2-3 ninth to give the Yellow Jackets the series win with the 16-3 ACC home victory.
Tech improved to 11-2 on the season when scoring in the first inning and 10-3 on the year when posting a big inning offensively – scoring four runs or more in one inning.
Tech (19-13, 8-7 ACC) hits the road to avenge an earlier season loss to the Mercer Bears on Tuesday, April 10. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. in Macon, Ga.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) April 8, 2018