Jackets’ Pitchers Shine in DH Split on Friday

CHICAGO, Ill. – The two Yellow Jacket starters combined to throw 15.0 scoreless innings on Friday afternoon, as Georgia Tech split a non-conference doubleheader with the UIC Flames 3-0 and 1-0 at Curtis Granderson Stadium in Chicago, Ill.

Tech hit two home runs and recorded its third shutout of the season with a 3-0 win in game one.

UIC used a walk-off wild pitch to score the winning run from third base in a 1-0 game two win over the Jackets.

Game 1: Georgia Tech 3, UIC 0

Georgia Tech hit two solo home runs and rode the right arm of freshman starter Xzavion Curry for 8.0 scoreless innings to shut out the UIC Flames 3-0 in game one of the twin bill on Friday afternoon.

The shutout was the third of the season for the Jackets.

Curry (5-4) was superb from start to finish, as the freshman surrendered just five hits, walked one and hit one batter, while striking out six over 8.0 scoreless innings. He pitched out of two jams, one in the third and the sixth, and stranded six UIC base runners for the game.

Jared Datoc (2) pitched a clean ninth to record his second save of the season.

The top of the order led the way for the Jackets offensively, as Wade Bailey was 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored and reached base on an error, while Trevor Craport went 2-for-5 with a home run, an RBI and a run scored. Clean-up hitter Kel Johnson was 1-for-3 with an RBI single and a walk, while Ryan Peurifoy went 1-for-4 with a solo home run.

For UIC, three players combined for the Flames’ five hits in David Cronin (2-for-3, BB), Cody Bohanek (1-for-4) and Rob Calabrese (2-for-4).

The Jackets, who threatened with runners on base in both the first and second innings, took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the third by way of a line drive solo home run over the left field fence by Craport.

UIC looked to get a run back in the bottom half of the third, as the Flames put two on by way of a hit batsman and a single up the middle, only to have Curry get out of the inning with a fly ball to center field to keep the Flames off the scoreboard.

With one swing of the bat, Peurifoy doubled the Tech lead with a solo home run to left field in the top of the fifth, his second straight game with a home run, to put the visitors in front at 2-0.

Curry and the Jackets avoided a big inning in the bottom of the sixth, as the Flames put together back-to-back singles through the left side to put the tying runs on first and second base with two outs. However, Curry got the next UIC hitter to hit a routine fly ball to left field to get out of the inning and keep the Jackets on top at 2-0.

In the next half inning, the Jackets added an insurance run to the lead as the top of the order in Bailey and Craport reached base safely on an error and a single to center field. Two batters later, Johnson hit a two-out single to right field that fell just in front of the outfielder to score Bailey from second to extend the Tech lead to 3-0 midway through the seventh inning.

The freshman starter pitched around a single in both the seventh and the eighth innings, before handing the ball over to Datoc to start the ninth where the reliever quickly got two ground outs and a strikeout to end the game.

Game 2: UIC 1, Georgia Tech 0

In what was a pitching duel from the start, the UIC Flames took advantage of a double and a wild pitch in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn a walk-off 1-0 win over the Jackets in game two of the doubleheader.

Sophomore starter Keyton Gibson threw a career-high 7.0 scoreless innings, as the righty gave up four hits and walked one, while striking out two.

UIC starter Jake Dahlberg threw 8.0 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and striking out six in the no-decision, before Connor Ryan (1-1) pitched out of a jam in the ninth to earn the win.

At the plate, Tech’s Johnson was 2-for-4 with two doubles, while Bailey was 2-for-3 with a walk. Peurifoy had the other hit for the Jackets, as the senior was 1-for-3 with a single.

The Flames had five different players with one hit apiece in the win.

The pitchers stole the show early, as Gibson gave up just four hits, one walk and stranded five UIC runners on base to keep the Flames off the scoreboard over the first five innings of play.

However, the Tech offense struggled to get anything going at the plate against Dahlberg, as the senior walked one in the fourth and gave up a single to Peurifoy in the fifth, yet stranded both Jacket base runners to keep the game scoreless through five.

The Jackets got a single by Bailey in the sixth and a double from Johnson in the seventh, yet failed to push across a run in either inning stranding both runners on base.

Gibson and the Tech defense kept the visitors in the game, as the Jackets put together back-to-back 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh to keep the game at a 0-0 scoreless tie heading into the eighth.

After the Jackets went down in order in the top of the eighth, Gibson handed the ball over to Micah Carpenter out of the bullpen. The sophomore got a strikeout, a fly ball to right and a ground ball to the shortstop for a 1-2-3 inning.

Tech looked to take the lead in the ninth, as Bailey singled to right field to start the inning. However, the junior was thrown out at second trying to stretch the hit into a double. Craport followed with a walk, before a strikeout and a double off the bat of Johnson put runners on second and third with two outs.

UIC got the next batter to go down on strikes to strand the go ahead runs on second and third and send the game into the bottom of the ninth tide still tied at 0-0.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Flames got a one-out double to right center field off of Carpenter (0-1). After senior reliever Zac Ryan got a ground ball to first base for out number two, which moved the runner up to third, a wild pitch went back to the backstop and allowed the winning run to score from third and give the Flames a 1-0 win.

Both teams stranded five runners on base for the game, as the two teams combined for 10 hits in the one-run game.

Georgia Tech (21-21, 6-15 ACC) will return to the field tomorrow to take on the UIC Flames (30-10) in the rubber match at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT.

Tech Tidbits

* With two home runs in game one, the Jackets have now hit 13 home runs over their last seven games.
* The shutout win in game one was the third shutout of the season for the Jackets (vs. No. 12 Oklahoma, Mar. 14 and at Georgia State on April 19).
* Xzavion Curry threw a career-high 8.0 scoreless innings in the win.
* Xzavion Curry has now recorded back-to-back quality starts in each of his last two starts.
* Jared Datoc recorded his second save in the game one win.
* Keyton Gibson with a career-long 7.0 innings pitched in game two of the doubleheader.
* Keyton Gibson also faced a career-high 26 batters on the day.
* Kel Johnson has now reached base safely in a season-high 22 straight contests with a single in game one and a double in game two.
* Ryan Peurifoy continued his hitting streak, pushing it out to 10 straight games, a new career long hitting streak, with a solo home run in the fifth in game one and a single in the fifth in game two.
* Ryan Peurifoy launched his fourth home run of the year with a solo home run in game one.
* Trevor Craport with his fifth home run of the season with a solo shot in game one.
* Wade Bailey has now reached base safely in 14 straight games with his lead-off double in game one and a walk in game two.
* Wade Bailey extended his hitting streak to four straight games with a double in game one and a single in the second game of the doubleheader.

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