DURHAM, N.C. – A pair of five-run innings, three home runs and 10 runs scored with two outs powered No. 7 Georgia Tech to a 15-3 win against Duke on Saturday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Five Yellow Jackets recorded multiple RBI and six had multiple-hit days as Georgia Tech secured the series win. Kyle McCann led the way with two home runs, five runs batted in and two scored to back Connor Thomas’ seven-inning performance on the mound.
Duke sophomore Joey Loperfido led the Blue Devil offensive push with two hits, two runs batted in and one scored. The Yellow Jackets improve to 35-14 and 17-9 in ACC play. The Blue Devils fall to 28-21 and 13-13 in league action.
Thomas (8-1) earned the win in keeping Duke in check by scattering 11 hits and a walk over seven innings, yielding three runs and striking out two. Robert Winborne tossed the last two frames, allowing two hits and fanning one.
Duke opened the scoring Saturday with two runs in the bottom of the first. Loperfido led off with a home run and, after a pair of groundouts, freshman Ethan Murray singled, advanced to second on a walk and scored on junior Chase Cheek’s single through the right side.
Georgia Tech wasted little time answering, scoring five runs with two outs in the top of the second to take a 5-2 advantage. Baron Radcliffe drew a one-out walk and advanced to third on a two-out double down the left-field line from Austin Wilhite. Jackson Webb drew a free pass to load the bases for Nick Wilhite, who drove in Radcliffe and Austin Wilhite with a single to tie the game at 2-2. Luke Waddell followed with a two-run single to make it a 4-2 Yellow Jacket lead and he scored the frame’s final run on a Michael Guldberg single.
Five more runs in the top of the fourth extended the Georgia Tech advantage to 10-2. A Nick Wilhite single and Waddell double started the frame. Guldberg followed with a single to left that plated both, pushing the lead to 7-2. Two outs followed before a Tristin English double and Radcliffe walk set the stage for Colin Hall’s three-run home run.
Duke got one run back in the bottom of the fourth to trail 10-3. Sophomore Michael Rothenberg led off with a double, advanced to third on a single through the left side by junior Erikson Nichols and scored on Loperfido’s fielder’s choice.
Another long ball in the top of the fifth made it a 12-3 Georgia Tech lead. With two outs, Guldberg reached on an error and McCann homered.
McCann’s second home run of the contest pushed the Yellow Jacket lead to 15-3 with the game’s final runs in the top of the seventh as he plated Nick Wilhite and Waddell with his one-out blast.
Duke starter Bill Chillari (2-3) was tagged with the loss, allowing 10 runs, nine earned, on 10 hits and four walks in 3.2 innings. He struck out three. Junior Eli Herrick came in for the next 2.1 frames, surrendering two unearned runs on two hits, two walks and two whiffs. Freshman Kyle Salley went the seventh, yielding three runs on two hits, a walk and two punchouts. Senior Al Pesto tossed the eighth and ninth, allowing a hit and two walks to pair with a career-high five strikeouts.
The two teams close the series Sunday with a 11 a.m. first pitch. Sophomore Bryce Jarvis will be on the bump for Duke, opposed by Georgia Tech rookie Cort Roedig. The contest marks the home regular season finale for the Blue Devils, who will honor their seniors as part of the Senior Day festivities prior to the first pitch.
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