THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s Austin Wilhite, Coleman Poje and Carter Hall all homered on Tuesday night, yet it wasn’t enough as the Jackets registered just five hits and stranded seven base runners in the 7-4 non-conference midweek defeat to No. 16 Auburn at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The loss drops Tech to 12-7 overall, while the Tigers improve to 18-5 on the season.
Tech had five different players record one hit in the contest highlighted by Hall’s (1-for-4, HR, BB, 2 RBIs, run) two-run home run in the seventh. Poje (1-for-1, HR, 3 BB) reached base safely in all four plate appearances, while Wilhite (1-for-3, HR, BB, RBI, 2 runs) hit his first career home run as a Jacket in the fifth.
Redshirt-junior Ben Schniederjans (0-1) suffered the loss, as the righty made his second start of the season on Tuesday, throwing 4.0 innings. He allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits and two walks, while striking out five.
Auburn, who was playing its first game on the road this season, knocked 11 base hits in the win as four different Tigers had two hits on the night. The Tigers had six doubles as a team in the win.
Calvin Coker (1-1) picked up the win out of the bullpen pitching just 0.2 of an inning, as he entered the game in the fifth with the 5-1 lead. The save went to Cole Lipscomb (4), as the righty pitched a perfect ninth with a three-run lead.
The Tigers used two doubles in the top of the third to score the first run of the game to take an early 1-0 lead. Conor Davis led off the inning with a double to center field. The next Auburn hitter tried to lay down a sac bunt attempt only to see catcher Joey Bart leap out of his crouch position and make a diving catch before the ball hit the ground for the first out of the inning.
Following the great defensive play by Bart, Schniederjans picked up a big strikeout for out number two, but couldn’t get out of the half inning before Jonah Todd doubled to the gap in left center field to score the first run of the game.
The nationally ranked Tigers added two more runs in the fourth on two walks, an RBI single and a fielding error in left field to push its lead to three at 3-0.
The visitors added two more runs in the top of the fifth on three hits, including a two-run double by Jay Estes, to push its lead out to 5-0, before the Jackets’ Wilhite hit a monster home run over the batter’s eye in dead straight center field in the bottom half of the fifth to put the home team on the scoreboard at 5-1.
In the top of the sixth, the Tigers again plated two more runs, this time on an RBI double and an RBI single to pull out in front by six at 7-1.
Tech was able to get one run back in the bottom half of the inning, as Poje hit a one-out solo home run over the right field wall to put the score at 7-2 in favor of the visitors.
The Jackets cut the Tigers’ lead to three just one inning later, as Hall blasted his first hit of the season over the left field wall for a two-run home run to put the home team down at 7-4.
However, that would be all the scoring for the rest of the game, as the Jackets stranded one runner in the eighth and went down in order in the ninth to fall to the Tigers 7-4.
The Jackets (12-7, 2-4 ACC) will look to span their two-game skid this weekend, as Tech hits the road for ACC play at Wake Forest on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 24-26, in Winston-Salem, N.C.