ATLANTA — In a nice, warm April afternoon, Georgia Tech defeated state-rival UGA 8-6 at SunTrust Park during the 17th annual Farmview Market Spring Classic Tuesday afternoon.
The game featured a matchup between two opponents ranked in the top 15, with UGA (33-9) being ranked number four and the Yellow Jackets being ranked 11th. This was the first time since 2009 that both of these teams met while ranked in the top 25. The game in 2009 took place at Turner Field, the Braves’ former stadium.
“It feels awesome to be able to take the series; it’s something I haven’t been able to do since I have been here,” Georgia Tech Designated Hitter Tristin English said. “Being in my fourth year, I can finally say, ‘We run this state.’ I have been hearing it for four years, so it’s nice to say it myself.”
The game got off to a quick start as a total of eight runs were scored in the first two innings.
The Yellow Jackets (28-13) first took the lead in the bottom of the first after Luke Waddell scored off a sacrifice bunt by Tristin English. The lead for the Yellow Jackets was short lived as UGA’s John Cable sent the ball into the Chop House and drove in teammate LJ Talley for a 2-run home run at the top of the second.
Moments later, in the bottom of the second, Georgia Tech’s Waddell sent a line drive deep to right field, which brought Austin Wilhite and Jackson Webb home to give the team a temporary 3-2 lead.Three batters later, with Waddell and Michael Guldberg on base, Kyle McCann batted the ball into the Chop House for a 3-run home run, his 15th of the season. After three innings of play, Georgia Tech led 7-2, after Waddell tripled to right field and Webb added one more run for the Yellow Jackets in the bottom of the third.
The fourth inning began with UGA’s Aaron Schunk batting a solo home run, his second career home run at SunTrust Park, into left field and cutting the deficit 7-3. Afterward, the Dawgs were able twice off two wild pitches by Georgia Tech’s Jake Lee. The runs were scored by UGA’s Cable and Talley. Moments later, the Bulldogs were able to load the bases again, but a ground out by Riley King to third base brought the inning to an end.
Guldberg scored the lone run for the Yellow Jackets in the bottom of the fifth after a sacrifice fly by Austin Wilhite. Georgia Tech led 8-5 at the time. Just like in previous innings, the Bulldogs began the sixth inning with a home run, this time it was Tucker Maxwell, who batted the ball into right field.There were two instances when the Bulldogs loaded the bases, but pitchers Luke Bartnicki and Hugh Chapman were able to take control of the game and end the inning without giving up a run.
“In the team, we have a word, and that’s grit, we want to be gritty, we want to grind all game,” English said. “Those are two of the best performances I have ever seen, to be able to come in situations that could have changed the game but they shifted the momentum back to us, it speaks highly of them.”
For the Yellow Jackets, the team will host Clemson in a three-game series this weekend, while the Bulldogs will travel to Mississippi for a three-game series against Mississippi State.