DURHAM, N.C. – Mark Pope tossed a two-run complete game, and Mott Hyde drove in three RBI to propel No. 6 Georgia Tech to a 9-2 win over Duke in game one on Friday night at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Pope threw his third complete game of the season, scattering just four hits and one earned run to win his seventh straight start. Pope, a 6-2 right-hander who leads the ACC in wins and ranks second in ERA, struck out seven and scattered a career-high three walks to give the Yellow Jackets (22-5, 10-0 ACC) their 10th consecutive ACC victory.
Duke (15-13, 2-8 ACC) scored twice in the third inning to take an early 2-0 lead against the junior right-hander, but Pope settled down and held Duke to three hits over the final six innings. The Yellow Jackets bounced back and took the lead in the fifth inning on a dropped fly ball by Duke that allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Hyde drove in Georgia Tech’s first run of the game and finished 2-for-5 with a single, a double, three RBI and a run scored. Along with Hyde, six other Yellow Jackets recorded multiple hits, including a three-hit performance by shortstop Jacob Esch. Esch doubled and reached base four times while scoring once and driving in a run.
Duke (15-13, 2-8 ACC) scored its two runs on four hits, as freshman outfielder Chris Marconcini recorded Duke’s only RBI on a sacrifice flyout to centerfield. The RBI fly ball was the 25th RBI of the season for Marconcini, who was the first player in the ACC to reach 20 RBI and 20 runs.
Duke’s two runs were not enough to support freshman lefthander Dillon Haviland (1-2), who made his second straight weekend start and held Georgia Tech to three runs – two earned – over five complete innings. Haviland struck out a career-high matching four batters and went five innings in his fourth consecutive appearance.
Duke got on the board first with two runs in the bottom of the third inning on two walks and a fielding error. Freshman catcher Mike Rosenfeld, in his second career start, scored the first run of the game after drawing a leadoff walk and scoring on back-to-back wild pitches. Marconcini then plated the second Blue Devil run on a sacrifice fly-out to centerfield that scored Piwnica-Worms after he reached base on a fielding error and moved to third on the wild pitches.
Georgia Tech cut into the lead in the top of the fourth inning on a one-run single by Hyde that scored Jake Davies who reached base on a walk. The Yellow Jackets took the lead in the top of the fifth with two runs on two hits. The first run came on an RBI single by Zane Evans that tied the game, and the go-ahead run scored when Duke left fielder Anthony D'Alessandro dropped a fly ball on the warning track to allow Esch to score from second base.
The Yellow Jackets added two more runs in the top of the sixth to increase their lead to 5-2. Kyle Wren recorded the first run with a one-run single that scored Sam Dove. Wren was immediately driven in for the second run from a double by Esch.
Georgia Tech plated four insurance runs in the top of ninth inning from four consecutive hits, two of which were back-to-back doubles. The first run came from a one-run double by Daniel Palka that scored Jake Davies who reached base on a walk, while Hyde grabbed two more RBI from a two-run double. Dove drove in the last run of the game with a one-run single that gave the Yellow Jackets their 10th ACC win.
The Blue Devils will send senior righthander Dennis O'Grady (4-1, 4.50 ERA) to the mound opposite Georgia Tech southpaw Jed Bradley (3-0, 1.67 ERA) for game two on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.