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On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon In Midtown Atlanta, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets hosted the Connecticut Huskies. Both teams came in 1-1 on the early season and looking to add to their win total. With a crisp wind blowing out to left field side players were intent on getting some balls airborne for scoring opportunities.
In the bottom of the second inning, catcher Joey Bart would oblige with the strategy. He hit a long home run to right center field to put the Yellow Jackets up 1-0. The Jackets hit three balls fairly deep into the outfield but couldn’t muster anymore runs versus Huskies starting pitcher Chase Gardner.
Connecticut’s right fielder Isaac Feldstein tied the game 1-1 in the top of the second with a home run to left center field. The Yellow Jackets would settle down after a double, striking out two batters. An error by center fielder Nick White gave the Huskies a 2-1 lead and kept the inning alive. The next batter John Toppa made Georgia Tech pay with a two-run shot to left center field to extend the lead to 4-1.
Going into the top of the third, Tech’s pitcher Jake Lee found more trouble. He gave up two clean hit balls for a single and a double. Christian Fedko would add another run to the Huskies lead (5-1) with an infield single that short stop Austin Wilhite couldn’t quite handle.
A few batters later, Chris Winkel smashed a double to make the game 6-1. Coach danny Hall had seen enough, Lee was pulled for right handed reliever Keyton Gibson after recording no outs in the inning. Keyton induced a 6-4-3 double play versus his first batter but another run would score to make it 7-1.
The game was pretty stagnant until the bottom of the fifth where the Yellow Jackets loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Third baseman Wade Bailey sent a hard triple down the left field line to clear the bases and cut the Huskies lead to 7-4.
Pitcher Chase Gardener was pulled for reliever Jeff Kersten. Gardener gave up five runs, one walk and three strikeouts.
Kersten’s first batter Wilhite sent Bailey home with an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 7-5.
Georgia Tech would get it going again in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded and two outs, infielder Chase Murray sent a hard single own the third base line to bring the Yellow Jackets to within one 7-6.
Then Nick Wilhite was hit by a pitch which sent another runner cross home plate to tie the game at 7-7. Bailey would send a high fly ball deep to right field but it was caught at the warning track to end the rally.
The Huskies threatened in the top of the ninth getting a man to third but Nick Wilhite robbed UConn’s Zac Susi’s fly ball to center field.
Georgia Tech rallied again in the bottom of the ninth inning. Tristan English beat out an infield single then KelJohnson smacked a hard single to center field to put two men on. With two outs, Barron Radcliff’ struck out and sent the game into extra innings.
Going into the top of the tenth, the Huskies were down to thier last out with two men on. Troy Stefanski sent a bullet straight to shortstop Austin Wilhite who bobbled the ball for and error. Two runs would score as UConn took a 9-7 lead. The Jackets couldn’t get a man on base a hit in extras, gong down in order to end the game.
Georgia Tech starting pitcher finished with two innings pitched eight hits,seven runs (four earned), walk and four strikeouts.
Joey Bart finished 3-5 with a home run and one RBI. He also picked off two runners trying to steal second base.
Third baseman Oscar Serratos started the game at his natural position but was moved to the mound to pitch to the final batter of the tenth inning.
The Yellow Jackets next game is at Georgia Southern on 2/20/18