SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Georgia Tech gave up four runs on a grand slam in the second inning and saw its comeback bid fall just 90 feet short in the final at bat to allow the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to come away with a 4-3 win in ACC cross-divisional play on Saturday evening in South Bend, Ind.
The loss drops Tech to 16-13 on the season and 4-10 in ACC play. The win pushes the Irish to 12-17 overall and 6-8 in league play.
Junior second-baseman Wade Bailey led the Jackets’ offense going 3-for-4 with three singles and a run scored. Freshman outfielder Chase Murray went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Austin Wilhite (1-for-4, RBI), Coleman Poje (1-for-4, run) and Kel Johnson (1-for-4) each had a hit in the loss.
For the Irish at the plate, Kyle Fiala was 2-for-3 with a grand slam in all four RBIs. Jake Shepski went 2-for-3 with a run scored, while three other players had a hit in the win.
Freshman starter Jay Shadday (2-2) suffered the loss, as the lefty made one mistake in giving up a grand slam in the second. He finished the day allowing four runs on six hits and five walks, while striking out three in 5.0 innings of work.
Out of the bullpen, right-hander Jared Datoc was superb, as the junior allowed just one hit and struck out two over the final 3.0 innings of the game.
Notre Dame’s Michael Hearne (2-1) picked up the win, as the fifth-year senior lefty held Tech to three runs, one earned, on eight hits, one walk and three strikeouts in 8.2 innings.
The save went to Peter Solomon (1) who got the final out of the game with one pitch.
After getting out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first, the Jackets were not as fortunate in the second inning, as the Irish took a 4-0 lead on a two-out grand slam by the Irish’s Fiala to put the home team on top early.
The Jackets got a run back in the top of the fourth with a little help from the Irish. Bailey singled up the middle to lead off the inning, while two batters later Johnson hit a ball off the end of the bat that dropped right in front of the plate. A miscommunication between the pitcher and catcher rushed the latter into making a play on the ball which allowed Johnson to beat the throw to first. The rushed throw got away from the catcher and went into right field to allow Bailey to score all the way from second and put the Jackets on the scoreboard and down 4-1.
Tech got another run back in the top half of the eighth, as Wilhite reached base safely on an Irish fielding error to lead off the inning. Following a pop out to second and a Murray single to right field that moved Wilhite up to third, Trevor Craport hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Wilhite and put the Jackets within two at 4-2.
Following a second straight three-up and three-down inning by Datoc in the eighth, the Jackets got a two-out single back through the pitchers legs from Poje and a walk to Kyle McCann to put the tying runs on base.
Wilhite then hit a first-pitch single to right center field to score Poje from third and cut the Irish lead to just one at 4-3 and put the tying run on third.
An Irish pitching change aided in a pop out to first base in foul territory for the final out of the game.
The Jackets (16-13, 4-10 ACC) and the Fighting Irish (12-17, 6-8 ACC) will wrap up the series tomorrow afternoon at 12 p.m. ET at Frank Eck Stadium.
* Tech is now 2-7 on the season when giving up a big inning (four or more runs) in the contest.
* The Jackets are 12-4 on the year when out hitting its opponent for the contest.
* Austin Wilhite extended his on-base streak to a new career-long 13 straight games on an error by the Irish in the eighth and a hit in the ninth.
* Kel Johnson extended his current hitting streak to nine straight games with an infield single in the fourth.
* Coleman Poje reached base for the eighth consecutive game with his single up the middle in the ninth.
* Kyle McCann reached base safely for the sixth straight game with a walk in the ninth.