THE FLATS – After the first two games of the three-game weekend series were won in dramatic fashion by walk-off base hits by the Yellow Jackets in the late innings, Georgia Tech used 13 strikeouts and two double plays to shut out the Radford Highlanders 4-0 in the series finale on Sunday afternoon to pick up the non-conference sweep at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The shutout is the fifth for the Jackets this season, which gave Tech its third three-game weekend series sweep on the year, all of which have come at home (Dartmouth, Miami and Radford).
With the win, Tech improves to 27-21 on the season overall, while Radford falls to 20-26 overall with the loss.
The Yellow Jackets pounded out nine hits for the game, four of which came off the bat of catcher Joey Bart (4-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, run), to score four runs in the win.
Senior Wade Bailey (2-for-4, 2 runs), freshman Oscar Serratos (2-for-4) and sophomore Chase Murray (1-for-4, RBI) combined to record the other five hits on the day, while designated hitter Tristin English (0-for-2, SF, RBI) chipped in with an RBI sacrifice fly in the win.
The four runs were all starting pitcher Brant Hurter (5-3) needed, as the freshman pitched out of trouble throughout the game, giving up six hits and three walks, while striking out seven over 6.0-scoreless innings.
Sophomore reliever Andy Archer (2) picked up his second save of the year, striking out five over 2.2-scoreless innings in the win.
The Highlanders tallied eight base hits for the game, including two doubles, yet stranded 11 runners on base in the shutout loss. Spencer Horwitz (2-for-4, 2B), Colby Higgerson (2-for-3, BB) and Straton Podaras (2-for-3, BB) all had two hits apiece for Radford for the game.
Radford looked to jump out to an early lead in the first inning, as the Highlanders got a two-out double down the left field line, yet stranded the runner on base.
Tech responded with back-to-back singles by Bailey and Bart to open up the bottom half of the inning. Two batters later, English hit a deep fly ball to right field to score Bailey from third base and put the White and Gold on top 1-0 after one inning of play.
Hurter pitched around two hits in the second, one in the third, a walk in the fourth and a double in the fifth to keep the 1-0 lead intact for the home team midway through the fifth inning.
Outfielder Colin Hall led off the bottom half of the fifth with a walk, followed by a single to right field two batters later by Bailey. After Bailey stole second, Bart lined a double down the left field line to plate both Hall and Bailey to increase the Jackets’ lead to three at 3-0.
Murray followed with a line drive single to right to score Bart from second and extend the Jackets’ lead to 4-0 heading into the sixth.
In the sixth, Hurter again pitched around some trouble, as the Highlanders used a walk and a single through the left side to put two on with one out. However, the tall lefty got the next two Radford hitters to strikeout swinging and ground out to Serratos at third to end the inning with no damage done.
Radford again threatened in the top of the seventh, yet the Tech bullpen got out of the jam with a fly ball to center field and a strikeout to strand two more Highlanders on base and kept the shutout in tact midway through the seventh.
Neither team would score over the final two innings of play, as Archer induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the eighth and struck out the side in the ninth to secure the shutout win.
The Yellow Jackets’ pitching staff has struck out a total of 72 batters over their last six games, an average of 12.0 strikeouts per contest.
The Jackets (27-21) will face off with the nationally ranked Georgia Bulldogs (33-14) on Tuesday night in the 16th annual Farmview Market Spring Classic for Kids game hosted by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at SunTrust Park. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) May 6, 2018