Jackets Fall in Wild Series Finale at Wake, 8-4

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In a game that saw rain, a number of close calls and a strange sequence on a swinging strikeout in the seventh, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets fell to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons 8-4 in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at David F. Couch Ballpark in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Jackets fall to 13-9 overall and 3-6 in the ACC with the loss, while the Demon Deacons improve to 18-7 overall and 6-3 in league play with the win.

Junior third-baseman Trevor Craport was 3-for-5 at the plate with three singles, while eight other Jackets had one hit apiece. Freshman outfielder Chase Murray was 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs, while fellow first-year Jacket Austin Wilhite was 1-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. Kel Johnson went 1-fo-3 with a double, a walk and two runs scored.

For Wake at the plate, Gavin Sheets was 2-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored, while Ben Breazeale went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI. Johnny Aiello was 1-for-3 with a solo home run and two walks on the day.

Freshman hurler Jay Shadday (1-1) suffered his first loss of the season, as the lefty gave up four runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out two over the first 3.2 innings of the contest.

Senior Connor Johnstone (3-0) earned the win for the Demon Deacons, as the righty allowed three runs on eight hits and two walks, while striking out seven GT batters.

For the first time all weekend, the Jackets got on the scoreboard first in the top of the second inning, as Murray hit an RBI double to the gap in left center field to put the visitors up early at 1-0.

Wake Forest tied the game up at 1-1 on a two-out single and RBI double by Breazeale in the bottom of the third, yet the Jackets retook the lead in the next half inning, as Wilhite ripped a two-out single to right center to score Coleman Poje from second to put the visitors back in front at 2-1.

However, the back-and-forth scoring continued as the Demon Deacons took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth. Wake led off the inning with a walk and then after a line out to right, the home team got a bunt single, a single to left and a double to left center field to drive in three runs and take a 4-2 lead after four complete.

After the Jackets stranded a runner in the top half of the fifth, the Demon Deacons took advantage of a lead-off single, a walk, a hit batsman and a bases loaded balk to push its lead out to three at 5-2.

Georgia Tech got one run back in the top of the sixth, as Johnson led off the inning with a double and later scored on a ground out to second by Murray to put the Jackets within two at 5-3.

Tech put the tying runs on base in the seventh, yet stranded the two runners on second and third to keep Wake in front at 5-3.

In the bottom half of the seventh, the Demon Deacons added two more runs on a strange sequence, as a throwing error put runners on second and third with two outs. The next Wake hitter struck out swinging and the ball appeared to hit the batter on the back leg. However, the umpire did not call the play dead and the ball scooted back to the back stop where two Wake runners scored on the play in the mass confusion to put the score at 7-3.

Each team scored a run in the eighth to push the score to 8-4 where it would stand after nine innings played.

The two teams combined to strand 23 runners on base for the conference contest.

The Jackets (13-9, 3-6 ACC) will remain on the road to take on Mercer on Tuesday, Mar. 28, at 6 p.m. ET in Macon, Ga.

Tech Tidbits

* The Yellow Jackets are 0-6 in the ACC and 2-9 overall when giving up six or more runs to their opponents for the game.
* It is Tech’s first loss on the season when not hitting a home run for the game (3-1).
* Trevor Craport hit safely in all three games on the weekend to give him a three-game hitting streak.
* With his double in the fourth, Coleman Poje has now reached base safely in 11 straight games, a new-career high.
* Jay Shadday’s 98 pitches were a career-high for the first-year Jacket.
* Nick Wilhite recorded his first career hit with a single in the eighth inning.

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