ATLANTA — Jed Bradley pitched six strong innings for his conference-leading ninth win, and Derek Dietrich and Matt Skole each delivered three hits to lift sixth-ranked Georgia Tech past No. 5 Miami, 6-3, Sunday afternoon in the deciding game of a key Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The win was the sixth in the last seven games for Georgia tech (41-10, 19-8 ACC), who pulled into a second-place tie in the Coastal Division with the Hurricanes (37-13, 19-8), one game behind Virginia (21-6), which maintained its lead Sunday with a win over North Carolina with one conference series left for each team.
Bradley (9-2) went six innings on the mound for Georgia Tech, scattering five hits and two walks while striking out five. The sophomore lefthander stayed in the game just long enough to pick up the victory after Tech had been shut out for five innings.
Three of those hits came in the fourth inning when Harold Martinez got the Hurricanes on the board first, belting his team-leading 17th home run with two men on, his second round-tripper of the weekend.
“We weren’t real good early in the game today, we had a lot of chances to score and couldn’t execute our situational hitting,” said Yellow Jackets coach Danny Hall. “We couldn’t get bunts down and couldn’t get them in when we had chances. But, to our guys credit, they found a way and a kind of a different way to win a game. We got our bunts down late in the game and I thought that put a lot of pressure on them. I thought our bullpen was excellent and Chase Burnette made a great catch to end it.”
The Jackets scratched back for a four runs in the sixth to take the lead, getting started with a leadoff homer from Skole, his 16th of the season. Cole Leonida followed with a walk and Burnette, a Buford High graduate, singled to chase Miami starter David Gutierrez.
Jay Dantzler greeted reliever Taylor Wulf with a single up the middle to score Leonida, making the score, 3-2. Jason Garofalo reached on an infield single, chasing Wulf and loading the bases.
After Jeff Rowland struck out against lefty reliever Sam Robinson, Derek Dietrich chopped a single toward second base to score Dantzler with the tying run, and Garofalo scored the go-ahead run when Frankie Ratcliff’s throw got by Scott Lawson at first base.
Wulf, who gave up singles to both hitters he faced, was charged with the loss and fell to 0-2.
A single, a Miami error, a hit batter and a walk led to another Tech run for a 5-3 lead in the seventh, Garofalo getting the RBI when he drew a pass from Miami reliever Travis Miller with the bases loaded.
The Yellow Jackets took advantage of another Hurricane error in the eighth, getting singles from Dietrich and Tony Plagman to start things off. Dietrich moved to third on a fly ball from Matt Skole, and scored on a squeeze bunt from Cole Leonida for a 6-3 lead.
Georgia Tech returns to action Tuesday night at 6 p.m. when the Yellow Jackets play their final regular season home game against Georgia State at Russ Chandler Stadium.