Jackets Break Out With 8-5 Win Over Mercer

THE FLATS – The Yellow Jackets scored seven runs on seven hits over the first two innings of play to erase a first-inning two run deficit en route to an 8-5 win over the Mercer Bears on Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.

The Jackets improve to 17-18 overall on the season, snap a season-high seven-game losing streak and complete the regular season series sweep of Mercer with the win. The Bears fall to 32-7 overall on the year with the loss.

Reliever Jared Datoc (4-0) picked up his fourth win of the season out of the bullpen, as he entered the game with the bases load and no outs in the fifth. The junior gave up two hits, one walk and struck out five in 3.1 innings of work.

Fellow righty Zac Ryan (3) recorded the save, as the senior pitched the final 1.2 innings of the contest, walking two and striking out one to preserve the win.

The Yellow Jackets, who did not have a single extra base hit over the three-game series with No. 2 Louisville Cardinals last weekend, registered a triple and four doubles in the win over Mercer on Tuesday night.

Moving back to the lead-off spot in the lineup, junior Wade Bailey went 3-for-5 with a triple and two runs scored. Trevor Craport was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored, while Joey Bart went 1-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI and a run scored. Both Kel Johnson (2-for-4, 2 RBIs) and Ryan Peurifoy (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBIs, run) each had two RBIs on the night in the win.

For the Bears, JT Thomas (2-for-5, 2 RBIs), Alex Hanson (1-for-4, 2B, RBI, 2 runs) and Ryan Hagan (2-for-4, 2 runs) each had two hits in the loss.

After Mercer jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an RBI double from Hanson and an RBI sacrifice bunt in the top of the first, the Jackets scored the next eight runs of the contest to take an 8-2 lead into the sixth.

Tech got one run back in the bottom of the first on a Bailey triple to right center and a sacrifice fly from Craport, before taking the lead for good in the bottom of the second.

Chase Murray got things started in the second with a one-out single through the right side. Following an Austin Wilhite walk, Kyle McCann singled up the middle and into center field to score Murray and tie the game up at 2-2.

The Jackets continued their big inning, as Peurifoy then hit a high chopper that bounced over the third baseman’s head and down the left field line to score both Wilhite and McCann to put the home team in front at 4-2.

Two batters later, Craport lined a two-out double to left center field to score Peurifoy and add to Tech’s lead at 5-2. Bart then switched places with Craport with an RBI double of his own to left center, before an RBI single up the middle by Johnson capped off the six run inning and pushed the Jackets out in front at 7-2.

Tech added another run in the fourth on another RBI single by Johnson which proved to be big, as the Bears cut into the Jackets’ lead in the fifth.

With the home team up 8-2, Mercer pushed across three runs in the top of the fifth on a two run single by Thomas, who was thrown out at second on the play by Murray, and an RBI single by Danny Edgeworth to cut the Tech lead down to three at 8-5.

That’s when the 1-2 punch of Datoc and Ryan took over, as Datoc pitched a 1-2-3 inning in both the sixth and seventh, before giving up a one-out walk in the eighth before handing the ball over to Ryan who pitched around a walk in the eighth, stranding two Bears on base in the inning, and around another walk in the ninth to secure the 8-5 win for the Jackets.

The Jackets (17-18, 4-14 ACC) return to action tomorrow night, as Tech takes on the Georgia State Panthers at the GSU Baseball Complex in Decatur, Ga. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. ET.

Tech Tidbits

* Tech snapped a season-high seven-game losing streak with the win on Tuesday night.
* The Jackets are now 6-2 in midweek games this season.
* Georgia Tech is now 4-1 versus in-state foes Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Mercer and Georgia on the season.
* Tech improved to 10-2 on the season when not committing an error for the ballgame.
* With the six-run second inning, the Jackets are now 11-3 on the season when recording a big inning (four runs or more) in a game.
* The Yellow Jackets have not hit a home run in eight straight games, their longest drought of the season.
* Kel Johnson has now reached base safely in a season-high 15 straight contests with his RBI single in the second inning.
* Kel Johnson pushed his current hitting streak out to three straight games.
* Joey Bart extended his current hitting streak to three straight games.
* Ryan Peurifoy continued his hitting streak, pushing it out to three straight games.
* Wade Bailey recorded his team leading 16th multiple hit game on the season.
* Jared Datoc threw a career-high 3.1 innings in the win on Tuesday.
* Zac Ryan registered his 12th career save.
* Trevor Craport had two doubles in the game, the first time he has done that this season and the fourth time in his career.
* Wade Bailey picked up his second career triple, both of which have come this year.

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