Duke Edges Jackets 7-5 in Series Opener
Georgia Tech baseball will look to even the series tomorrow afternoon at 1 p.m.
DURHAM, N.C. - On an overcast, cloudy, cold and wet North Carolina evening, Georgia Tech overcame two leads by Duke, yet saw the Blue Devils score the last three runs of the contest to edge the Jackets 7-5 in the ACC series opener on Friday at Jack Coombs Field in Durham, N.C.
The loss snaps the Jackets' four-game winning streak in ACC play.
Junior Trevor Craport led the way for the Jackets at the plate, as the third baseman was 3-for-5 with a run scored. Outfielders Ryan Peurifoy and Chase Murray were both 2-for-4 with a run scored, while designated hitter Brandt Stallings went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run.
For the Blue Devils, Kennie Taylor went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Zack Kone went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs, while lead-off hitter Jimmy Herron was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.
Tech freshman Xzavion Curry started the game, as the righty allowed four runs on nine hits and three walks, while striking out six Duke hitters over 5.2 innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen.
Junior Jared Datoc (5-1) suffered his first loss of the season, as he gave up two runs on two hits, while walking one and striking out one over 1.1 innings of work.
Duke reliever Nick Hendrix (1-1) earned the win, getting the lone batter he faced in the game out in the seventh, while Jack Labosky (6) earned the two-inning save.
The Yellow Jackets found themselves in some trouble in the top of the second, as a lead-off double, a walk and a one-out single loaded the bases for the Blue Devils. However, Curry and the Jackets avoided the big inning and got out of the jam giving up just one run on a sacrifice fly in foul territory to left field to fall behind just 1-0 after two complete innings.
After stranding two runners on base in the first inning, one in the second and two more Jackets in the third, the visitors pushed across two runs in the top of the fourth on a two-run line drive home run over the left field wall off the bat of Stallings to put Tech in front at 2-1.
Duke retook the lead in the bottom of the fifth, as the Blue Devils got a blooper off the end of the bat that fell to the turf just out of the reach of a sliding Peurifoy in center field to drive in runners from second and third and put the home team back on top at 3-2 heading into the sixth inning.
The Blue Devils added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Herron to put the home team in front by two at 4-2.
However, the Yellow Jackets refused to quit, as Kyle McCann drew a one-out walk to start the rally in the top of the seventh. The top of the GT order in Bailey and Craport followed with back-to-back infield singles to load the bases for the middle of the lineup.
Peurifoy hit a sacrifice fly to left to score McCann and put the Jackets down just one at 4-3. Johnson followed with a two-out single to right field over the second baseman's head to knot the game back up at 4-4.
Following a Duke pitching change, Craport would score from third on a wild pitch to give the Jackets a 5-4 edge midway through the seventh.
The lead did not last for long, as the back-and-forth scoring affair continued when the Blue Devils retook the lead on a two-run home run to left field by Taylor in the bottom of the seventh to put Duke back in front at 6-5.
The home team took advantage of a hit batsman and a sacrifice bunt to start the eighth, before Herron doubled to right center field to extend the Blue Devils' lead to two at 7-5.
The Jackets put the tying runners on base in the ninth, yet ran out of outs as the Blue Devils escaped with the 7-5 home win.
Georgia Tech (24-23, 9-16 ACC) and Duke (25-24, 10-15 ACC) will return to action tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm. ET.
* The loss snaps the Jackets' ACC regular season games winning streak at four.
* Ryan Peurifoy continued his hitting streak, pushing it out to a career-high 15 straight games.
* Wade Bailey has now reached base safely in 19 straight games, a new career high.
* Wade Bailey extended his hitting streak to nine straight games.
* Trevor Craport pushed his current hitting streak out to five straight games.
* Chase Murray extended his hitting streak to four straight games.
* Brandt Stallings hit his fourth home run of the season.
* Catcher Kyle McCann threw out two would be base stealers at second base in the game.