Posted: 2:08 pm Monday, May 5th, 2014
By Ken Sugiura
Georgia Tech continued its strong run of play at Russ Chandler Stadium, taking two of three from Virginia Tech this weekend.
The Jackets, who began the season unranked for the first time in coach Danny Hall’s tenure at Tech, are now 28-20 overall and 14-13 in the ACC. They’re 22-10 at home, while 6-10 on the road. The Hokies are 19-27-1 overall and 8-19 in the ACC. Tech had lost its previous two series, both on the road, to Maryland and N.C. State.
Among the top performers for Tech was Saturday starter Devin Stanton, who allowed one run (earned) over seven innings despite giving up six hits and two walks. Stanton’s ERA as a starter this season is now 2.17 in eight starts. After Friday night’s 7-6 win in 11 winnings, Stanton’s performance enabled the Jackets to take the series over the Hokies with a 3-1 win.
Friday night, reliever Dusty Isaacs covered the last five innings. He gave up one run (earned) while striking out a career-high eight of the 16 batters he faced and walking none.
With Tech down 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth after Isaacs gave up the go-ahead run in the top of the inning, the Jackets were down to their final out after Mott Hyde and Daniel Spingola had reached base with singles. Thomas Smith came through with a single up the middle to tie the game and send the game to extra innings.
In the 11th, two singles and a sacrifice bunt brought Matt Gonzalez to the plate. His single scored Arden Pabst to win the game 7-6.
Sunday, Tech lost 7-6, unable to close margins of 4-0 after the top of the first inning, 5-2 after the top of the sixth and 7-4 after the top of the seventh. The game ended with a strikeout/caught stealing double play at third base.
Spingola was 8-for-15 in the series. He’s hitting .405 at home this season.
Tech plays North Florida at home at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Russ Chandler and goes to Virginia, which was ranked No. 1 as of last week, this weekend. Matthew Grimes, who had been a Sunday starter but had some shoulder pain and was held out of the Virginia Tech series, will start Tuesday.
The Jackets took two of three from the Cavaliers last season at Russ Chandler. Virginia hasn’t lost a series this season and hasn’t lost a regular-season series at home since April 2012.
As of Monday, Tech had an RPI of No. 34, according to boydsworld.com. It was No. 33 last week. By last week’s projections, Tech was on the safe side of the NCAA bubble, according to Baseball America. Perfect Game’s tournament field projection had Tech as a No. 2 seed in the Alabama regional with the Crimson Tide, Sam Houston State and Saint Louis.