ATLANTA — Former Calhoun High standout Mott Hyde’s three-run triple in the second inning gave Georgia Tech the lead for good and Matthew Grimes fired 4.2 innings of scoreless relief as the Yellow Jackets completed the sweep of Bowling Green with an 8-5 win on Sunday in Atlanta.
It was the second consecutive weekend sweep for the Jackets, who improved to 7-4 and have won six of the last seven. Tech had not swept consecutive weekend series since going 6-0 versus NC State and Miami back-to-back in 2011.
Grimes allowed one hit in tossing 4.2 innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts and one walk to earn his first win (1-0) since March 13, 2012 versus Wagner. Jonathan Roberts retired the ninth in order to nail down his first save.
“I was really impressed with Matthew,” said head coach Danny Hall. “He came in, settled the game, put a lot of zeros on the board and really threw the ball well. All told, we went 3-1 this week and we went 3-1 last week and I think we’re going in the right direction.”
In missing the second half of 2012 and all of 2013 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, Grimes’ outing Sunday marked his longest since going six innings versus Rutgers nearly two years to the day – March 3, 2012.
“It’s been a while,” said Grimes. “I’m thankful for it. It’s been a long journey to get here. My arm feels really good, and I think being able to pitch on a warm day helped.”
“He’s been through a long haul here with the surgery and the rehab and that’s by far his best outing since he’s been back healthy,” said Hall of Grimes.
Matt Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to deep right that scored Hyde in the first inning to put Tech up 1-0, but the Falcons (2-7) answered with a three-run second inning to take the lead. BGSU held early two-run leads in each game of the series.
But the Jackets took control right back in the bottom of the second as three walks loaded the bases for Hyde, who cleared them by pounding his third career triple to the wall in left. Ryan Peurifoy plated Hyde with a sac fly in the next at bat.
Thomas Smith singled and eventually scored on an error in the third inning to make it 6-3, but the Falcons came right back again with two more in the fourth before Grimes emerged from the bullpen. With the tying run 90 feet away, Grimes got a strikeout and a grounder in succession and faced just two batters over the minimum after that.
Rookies Arden Pabst and Connor Justus ripped consecutive RBI singles in the fifth inning to tack on insurance for the Jackets.
Freshman Brandon Gold finished 2-for-5, while Smith was 1-for-3, walked twice and scored a career-high three times. Smith and Peurifoy each extended hitting streaks to seven games, while Hyde, who hit .412 (7-for-17) this week, stretched his hit streak to five games.
Andrew Lacinak absorbed the loss (0-1) for Bowling Green, lasting just 2.1 innings and yielding six runs on three hits. Patrick Lancaster and Logan Walker each had two of the Falcons’ nine hits.
In the two previous games in the series:
Georgia Tech 8,
Bowling Green 3 (Saturday)
ATLANTA — Georgia Tech used a pair of four-run innings to rally from an early 2-0 deficit and beat Bowling Green, 8-3, Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium to secure the weekend series.
Seniors Mott Hyde and Mitch Earnest each had two hits, junior Daniel Spingola homered, while rookie Elliott Barzilli came through with a two-run single during a four-run third inning that gave the Yellow Jackets (6-4) the lead for good.
Junior Cole Pitts shook off the Falcons’ two-run first inning and held the visitors scoreless over his final four innings on the mound to earn the win (1-0). Jeremy Shay, who finished 2-for-4, launched a two-run homer to left to put BGSU (2-6) on the board.
“Pitts just made a bad pitch (to Shay),” said head coach Danny Hall. “But after that I thought he settled in pretty nicely and we played good defense behind him. They got a couple bloop hits off Devin (Stanton) to get another run and I thought Cruz was really good.”
Bowling Green would pull within one in the eighth when Greg Basalyga’s RBI single to center scored Logan Walker, who singled and moved to second on a wild pitch.
Another two-out single allowed the Falcons to move the tying run to scoring position, before senior Alex Cruz emerged to get the final out of the eighth, and pitch a 1-2-3 ninth with two strikeouts to nail down his first save.
The Jackets’ gave Cruz breathing room in the bottom of the eighth after back-to-back doubles from Thomas Smith and Hyde made it 5-3. Earnest delivered an RBI triple – the senior’s first career three-bagger – and Spingola followed next with a two-run shot to right that capped the scoring.
Mike Frank was saddled with the loss (0-1), after allowing four hits and four unearned runs in four innings of work.
Sophomore Matt Gonzalez, who singled in his first at bat to extend his hitting streak to eight games, drove in the Jackets’ first run in third with a sacrifice fly deep to the wall in right. Hyde’s RBI single made it 4-2 Tech in the third.
Georgia Tech 3, Bowling Green 2 (Friday)
ATLANTA — Georgia Tech turned a season-high four double plays to aid Jonathan King’s strong start and the Yellow Jackets came from behind to beat Bowling Green, 3-2, Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Mott Hyde finished 3-for-4 and Matt Gonzalez’s two-run single in the third inning that extended his hitting streak to seven games would prove to be the difference. The win improved the Jackets to 5-3, while the Falcons slipped to 2-5.
King worked a career-long 7.1 innings in holding the visitors to two runs (one earned) with two walks and four strikeouts. The sophomore lefty (2-0) yielded seven hits, but rolled up double plays in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings – three of which ended innings.
“Those are pitchers’ best friends,” said head coach Danny Hall of Tech’s four double plays. “They got some guys on, but it seemed every time they got guys on, he got a ground ball. I thought Mott (Hyde) did an excellent job of turning a lot of double plays.”
Four double plays are the most turned by the Jackets since four in a 14-9 win at Clemson last season. The school record is five versus Coastal Carolina in 1995.
The Falcons drew first blood, capitalizing on a walk, an error and a base hit to take a 2-0 lead thanks to Patrick Lancaster’s two-run single through the right side.
Tech wouldn’t trail long.
The hosts put the first three batters on in the third inning after A.J. Murray led off with a double, Arden Pabst was hit by a pitch and Keenan Innis legged out a bunt single.
Ryan Peurifoy drew a four-pitch, bases-loaded walk to make it 2-1, and Gonzalez followed by ripping a Cody Apthorpe offering up the middle to give Tech the lead for good.
King turned the game over to the bullpen after Brian Bien’s one-out single in the eighth, and Jonathan Roberts and Dusty Isaacs would record the final five outs in order.
Roberts got a strikeout and a ground out to end the eighth and Isaacs earned his first career save with three straight grounders in the ninth.
He (Roberts) threw really well and he’s going to have a big role for us going forward,” said Hall. “And Dusty came in and threw a lot of strikes, so those two guys were good tonight.”
King’s previous career-long was 6.1 innings versus Virginia Tech in last season’s ACC Tournament. He has gone no less than five innings in five of his six starts dating back to last season.
Apthorpe took the loss (1-2), allowing seven hits and three runs in his six innings on the mound. Bien had three of the Falcons’ seven hits.