Resilient Jackets Defeat No. 7 Auburn 11-8


AUBURN, Ala. – Playing their ninth game against a top-12 nationally ranked team or better over the last 13 contests on Tuesday night, the Jackets bounced back from giving up eight runs in the third to erase a three-run deficit and pick up an 11-8 non-conference road win over No. 7 Auburn at Plainsman Park in Auburn, Ala.

Georgia Tech improves to 16-11 overall with the win. Auburn falls to 23-8 on the season with the loss.

Sophomore hurler Jake Lee (1-1) came out of the bullpen in the third inning to throw a season-high 4.1 scoreless innings to pick up the win. The right-hander gave up just one hit, while striking out a season-high five batters.

Senior Zac Ryan (2) picked up the save, going the final 2.0 innings of the contest in the win.

At the plate, the Jackets pounded out 15 hits, five of which were extra base knocks.

Coleman Poje was 2-for-4 with a home run, a double, three RBIs and three runs scored, while Kyle McCann went 2-for-4 with a home run, a walk, two RBIs and two runs scored. Designated hitter Kel Johnson went 2-for-5 with two doubles, two RBIs and a runs scored, while Austin Wilhite was 2-for-4 with two RBIs as well.

Auburn picked up eight runs on nine hits and were aided with seven walks.

Mike Rojas was 1-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored, while Luke Jarvis and Daniel Robert were both 2-for-5 with two RBIs in the loss.

The Jackets swarmed out in front of the Tigers in the top of the first inning, as the visitors plated five runs on four hits and one error to start the non-conference contest.

An Auburn fielding error got things started for Tech, as Wade Bailey reached base safely on the misplayed ground ball to the shortstop. Catcher Joey Bart followed with a single to right field that found grass in front of the outfielder to put two Jackets on with one out.

Johnson then doubled off the base of the wall in left center field to score both Bailey and Bart to put the visitors on the scoreboard. Poje followed with a double of his own into the left field corner to swap places with Johnson and put the Jackets in front at 3-0.

The inning continued with McCann battling to get a base on balls, before a wild pitch and a single up the middle by Wilhite drove in two more Jackets to give the visitors a 5-0 lead after just one at bat.

After walking a batter in each of the first two innings but getting out of trouble with the help of the defense, Tech starter Jonathan Hughes and the Jackets were not as fortunate in the bottom of the third as a one-out walk came around to score on a double down the field line one batter later to put the Tigers on the scoreboard and cut Tech’s lead to four at 5-1.

The tough third inning continued for the Jackets, as two walks later, Auburn’s Robert singled to left field to drive in two more runs and put the Tigers back in the game at 5-3.

The big inning continued for the Tigers, as Auburn drew a bases loaded RBI walk and then had a bases clearing three-run double that just sneaked inside third base to give the home team a 7-5 lead. Auburn added an RBI single to cap off the inning and take an 8-5 lead into the fourth.

Refusing to quit, the Jackets fought to get two runs back in the top of the fourth on a two-out RBI single by Bailey, who then went on to score from third on a wild pitch to batters later to cut the Tigers’ lead to one at 8-7.

Tech retook the lead in the next inning, as McCann blasted a two-run home run that hooked around the right field line foul pole to give the Jackets the lead at 9-8 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning.

Lee kept the Tigers off the scoreboard over the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, allowing just one hit over that span, to keep the Jackets in front by one until Poje hit a monster two-run home run over the high left field wall in the top of the ninth to give the Jackets a three-run lead at 11-8.

Ryan, who pitched around a lead-off double in the eighth inning and back-to-back one-out singles in the ninth, shut the door in the bottom of the ninth to preserve the 11-8 win for Tech.

The Jackets (16-11, 4-8 ACC) will continue its five-game road trip with a three-game ACC series at Notre Dame on April 7-9 in South Bend, Indiana.

Tech Tidbits

* Tech improves to 5-1 in midweek games this season with the win.
* The Jackets are now 3-0 on the road in midweek play on the year with wins at Georgia Southern (Feb. 21), at Mercer (Mar. 28) and tonight at Auburn.
* Georgia Tech moves to 12-3 on the year when scoring first in the contest on the year.
* The Yellow Jackets jump to 7-3 on the season when scoring in the first inning.
* Tech moves to 10-3 overall on the season when scoring four or more runs in one inning for the game.
* GT moves to 9-1 on the season when not committing an error in the field for the game.
* Jake Lee recorded a season-high five strikeouts over a season-high 4.1 innings of work.
* Trevor Craport has now hit safely in eight straight games as he legged out a single in the top of the second inning.
* Austin Wilhite pushed his hitting streak to a career-high seven straight games with his two-run single in the first inning.
* Austin Wilhite extended his on-base streak to a new career-long 11 straight games.
* Wade Bailey extended his hitting streak to five consecutive games with an RBI single in the top of the fourth.
* Wade Bailey scored his team-high 37th and 38th runs of the season in the contest.
* Kel Johnson extended his current hitting streak to seven straight games with a two-run double in the top half of the first inning.
* Coleman Poje reached base for the sixth consecutive game with his double in the first.
* Kyle McCann reached base safely for the fourth straight game with a walk in the first inning.
* Kyle McCann blasted his fourth home run of the season in the fifth inning.
* Ryan Peurifoy increased his current hitting streak to four straight games with his single in the top of the second.
* Ryan Peurifoy registered his first three hit game of the season on Tuesday night.
* Chase Murray added to his current hitting streak with a single in the fourth, giving him a four-game hitting streak.
* Coleman Poje hit his seventh home run of the season in the top of the ninth.

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