— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) April 14, 2018
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Georgia Tech baseball provided some fireworks on Friday night with some late-inning heroics, as the Jackets scored six runs over their final two at bats, highlighted by a ninth-inning grand slam off the bat of sophomore Kyle McCann to propel the White and Gold to a 7-3 come-from-behind win over the Pittsburgh Panthers on Friday night in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Tech, who had trailed the entire game after Pitt took a 1-0 lead in the first, scored two runs in the top of the eighth on a Chase Murray home run and a Tristin English RBI single to tie the game up at 3-3.
With the bases loaded and the game all square at 3-3 in the top of the ninth, McCann hit a monster grand slam to right field to clear the bases and give the Jackets’ their first lead of the game at 7-3.
Tech’s Andy Archer (3-0) was superb out of the bullpen for the Jackets on the night, as the sophomore entered the game in the seventh down 3-1 and kept the score within reach for the visiting Jackets with 3.0-scoreless innings. Archer struck out three, walked one and allowed just one hit out in the relief win.
The top of the Tech order did a lot of damage on the night, as the first four hitters all had two hits apiece in the win. Murray (2-for-4, HR, 3B, BB, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) had a home run and an RBI triple, while McCann (2-for-5, GS, 4 RBIs, run) drove in four RBIs with his grand slam. Catcher Joey Bart (2-for-2, 3 BB, 2 runs) reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances, while English (2-for-4, BB, RBI) had two hits in the four-hole for Tech.
Pitt starter Dan Hammer had a good outing spoiled, as the righty did not factor in the decision despite a quality start. He gave up three runs on seven hits, three walks and six strikeouts over 7.0 innings on the mound.
The loss went to Pitt’s closer Yaya Chentouf (4-2) who entered the game in the seventh. He was touched up for four runs on four hits, two walks and one strikeout over 1.1 innings of work out of the bullpen.
Pitt’s offense was led by Nick Banman (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, run), Ron Washington, Jr. (2-for-4, HR, RBI, run) and Liam Sabino (1-for-5, HR, RBI, run) who all had an RBI in the loss.
Despite a first-inning single by Bart, it would be the Panthers that would score in the first inning of play to take an early 1-0 lead. The Panthers recorded back-to-back infield singles, before Banman lined a two-out single to right field to plate the first run of the game.
While Tech struggled to get the key hit over the first few innings of play, striking out for the third out in both the second and third innings and saw their first and fourth innings come to an end by way of a 4-6-3 double play, the Panthers doubled its lead up at 2-0 on a solo home run off the bat of Washington, Jr. in the bottom of the third.
Georgia Tech cut the Pitt lead in half in the top of the fifth, as Oscar Serratos legged out an infield single to third base. Two batters later, after Serratos stole second, Murray tripled to the gap in right center field to plate Serratos from second to put the Jackets down one at 2-1 midway through the fifth.
However, Pitt quickly got the run back in the bottom half of the inning as Sabino hit a lead-off home run to right center field to put the Panthers back on top by two at 3-1 after five innings played.
After going down 1-2-3 in both the sixth and seventh innings, Murray opened up the eighth frame with a solo shot to dead-straight center field to put the Jackets within one at 3-2.
Following an unintentional intentional walk to Bart, McCann singled past the first basemen and in to right field to put runners on first and third with no outs. English then singled through the left side to plate Bart and tie the game up at 3-3.
However, the Jackets’ stranded the go-ahead runs on base to send the game to the bottom half of the eighth knotted up at 3-3.
The fireworks continued in the top of the ninth, as pinch hitter Luke Waddell raced down the first base line to beat out a ground ball to second base to lead-off the inning and bring up the top of the order. Murray and Bart drew back-to-back walks to load the bases for McCann.
McCann hit the 3-1 pitch to deep in the night and way over the right field wall for the grand slam to put the Jackets on top for the first time all game at 7-3.
Tech’s Archer returned to the mound in the ninth to finish the job for the Jackets, as the sophomore pitched around a two-out walk to seal the four-run come-from-behind win for the White and Gold.
Starting pitcher Xzavion Curry had a quality start, his fifth of the season, as the sophomore surrendered three runs on eight hits and one walk, while striking out five over 6.0-complete innings.
The Yellow Jackets (21-14, 9-7 ACC) and Pittsburgh (17-14, 6-10 ACC) will play game two of the three-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m. at Charles L. Cost Field.
Sophomore roommates Chase Murray and Kyle McCann were our co-players if the game tonight. Their household combined for two home runs (one of which was a grand slam), a triple and 6️⃣ RBIs in our 7-3 win at Pitt! #TogetherWeSwarm pic.twitter.com/66sB6Caz8U
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) April 14, 2018