Generally speaking, if Chris Diaz has a five run lead at any point in a game, you like your chances of winning. So was not the case Friday night in Atlanta. The #13 Miami Hurricanes (11-7, 4-0 ACC) dodged three Yellow Jacket comebacks to take game one 10-8 over Georgia Tech (9-8, 1-3 ACC).
Miami started the scoring in the second inning. With the bases loaded and nobody out, Edgar Michelangeli singled to right knocking in Alex Hernandez to give the Canes a 1-0 lead. Dale Carey then bounced a ball to short that was botched by Jacket shortstop Connor Justus knocking in David Thompson to make the score 2-0 Miami. With Brandon Lopez at third Jacket catcher Arden Pabst allowed a passed ball to score Lopez and push Miami's lead to 3-0. Miami's fourth run of the inning came when Georgia Tech starter Zac Ryan tried to pickoff Tyler Palmer at first and threw the ball into right field, allowing Dale Carey to scamper home. In the same at bat, Willie Abreu singled to drive in Palmer and Miami had, what seemed to be a comfortable, 5-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets stormed back in the bottom of the fourth off Hurricane ace Chris Diaz. A.J. Murray began the inning with a double and was knocked in by Daniel Spingola. After Ryan Peurifoy singled Spingola was plated on a fielders choice off the bat of Jacket catcher Arden Pabst to cut the Hurricane lead to 5-2. With Peurifoy standing on third Georgia Tech second baseman Mott Hyde lifted a sac-fly to right field and trimming the Miami lead to 5-3.
That's where the score stayed until the Jacket half of the fifth when Matt Gonzalez hit an opposite field home run off Diaz slicing Miami's two run lead in half at 5-4. Thomas Smith followed with a walk and was advanced to second on a groundout by Elliott Barzilli, then came around to score and tie the game on a single by Murray. Chris Diaz was lifted with two outs and replaced by Cooper Hammond and he ended the inning by striking out Peurifoy.
The Hurricanes answered quickly in the top half of the sixth. With Dale Carey on first after drawing a walk, Tyler Palmer blasted a long home run over the left field fence to help Miami regain the lead 7-5.
The big fly did little to deter the Yellow Jackets who scrapped back to tie the game in the home half of the seventh on a 2-RBI double by Mott Hyde off Miami reliever Adam Sargent. Sargent regained his composure by striking out Connor Justus and Matt Gonzalez to strand two runners in scoring position and keeping the score tied at 7.
The resilient Hurricanes retook the lead in the visiting half of the eighth when Dale Carey connected on his fourth home run of the season to give Miami an 8-7 lead off Jacket relief pitcher Jonathan Roberts. Head Coach Jim Morris brought in closer Bryan Garcia to pitch the bottom half of the eighth, only to see him let Georgia Tech tie the game again on an RBI single by Spingola, scoring Elliott Barzilli.
The Canes again rallied in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded and Tyler Palmer at the plate against Yellow Jacket pitcher Dusty Isaacs. Palmer blooped a single into shallow right to plate David Thompson and Garrett Kennedy and gave Miami a 10-8 lead. Palmer finished the night with four RBI's and now has 12 on the year. Bryan Garcia came out and struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth to give the Hurricanes their eleventh win and fourth conference victory of the season.
Miami and Georgia Tech will wrap up the three game series with a day/night doubleheader Saturday. Game one is set to start at 3pm with game two scheduled to begin at 7:30.
The nightcap of the doubleheader will be televised