Tech takes two from UNC

Jon Barash

After splitting a pair of games in Columbus against Ohio State, the Jackets went back home over the weekend for a series against the nation’s second-ranked team, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Tech had dropped its previous three weekend series and was looking to get back on track in a big way against the Tar Heels. Friday night saw Mott Hyde lift the Jackets with a walk-off home run to give Tech the first game 5-4. The team erased an early 3-0 deficit after a four-run third inning behind back-to-back triples from Thomas Smith and Kyle Wren and a two-run home run off the bat of Zane Evans, who finished 4-for-4. Buck Farmer pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on six hits while striking out six. Daniel Palka picked up his first career win on the mound, throwing two perfect innings.

 

Saturday’s game was another closely contested matchup that saw Dusty Isaacs take the mound for the Jackets against the Tar Heels’ Benton Moss. Despite a strong six inning performance from Isaacs, the Jackets were simply no match for Moss, who stifled them for eight shutout innings, allowing just two hits in the Tar Heels’ 3-1 win. Daniel Palka’s solo home run in the ninth accounted for the Jackets lone run.

 

Sunday’s rubber game provided possibly the most exciting finish of the Jackets’ season as they fell behind 8-3 entering the seventh inning before Mott Hyde started the comeback with yet another big home run, a two-run shot to left. A three-run ninth inning, which was led by RBIs from Brandon Thomas, Zane Evans, and Daniel Palka, sent the game into extra innings. The bottom of the eleventh saw Kyle Wren and Thomas reach base on walks as Evans returned to the plate with no outs. Evans, who also pitched the final three, scoreless innings, then hit a single that scored Wren and gave the Jackets their fourth walk-off win of the season.

 

Tech will play its final regular season home game on Tuesday as they host the Georgia Bulldogs, who blew out the Jackets 17-0 at Turner Field on April 23. The team will then travel to Coral Gables for a weekend series against the Miami Hurricanes before the start of the ACC Tournament on May 22 in Durham, NC.

 

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