ATLANTA – Chase Burnette’s two-out, walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th lifted the fifth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (29-5, 13-3 ACC) to an 8-6 win over No. 16 Clemson (23-12, 10-6 ACC) in the series-opener Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
After sophomore Matt Skole kept the inning alive by drawing a walk, Burnette sent a 2-1 pitch from Clemson reliever David Haselden over the wall in right-center to give Tech its 13th conference win of the season. The Jackets remain in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal division.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Burnette, a Buford High grad. “It is one of those things you think about as a kid at the park tossing the ball up and hitting it. You are dreaming about hitting a walk-off home run. That is what everybody would love to do, and it is a really good feeling.”
Tech reliever Andrew Robinson (4-0) entered the game in the top half of the 10th with the bases-loaded and just one out. Robinson struck out Clemson’s Kyle Parker before forcing John Hinson to hit a line drive into the glove of Derek Dietrich at shortstop to get out of the jam.
Robinson improved to 4-0 on the season with the win, while Tiger’s Haselden fell to 3-3.
“When you have a good year, those things happen,” head coach Danny Hall said. “We feel like we have a lot of guys that can hit, and we feel like we have a lot of guys that can contribute on the mound and they have been doing a great job. And then Chase Burnette, what can I say. That was special right there.”
Burnette and junior Cole Leonida paced the Jackets with two hits apiece, while Leonida added a home run of his own in the second inning.
Leonida’s eighth round-tripper of the season was the start of a five run second frame, as sophomore Matt Skole followed with a deep shot to right-center before freshman Brandon Thomas hit a two-RBI triple off the wall in left field to put the Jackets up 5-2.
Clemson rallied with a four-run fifth inning that saw a three-run homer to right field by Jeff Schaus to take a 6-5 lead. Schaus led the Tigers at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Tech would knot it at 6-6, however, on a sac fly RBI to center by Thomas that would score Thomas Nichols from third in the sixth. Thomas drove in three runs on the day, and broke a four-game hitless streak with his third triple of the season.
The Tech bullpen was solid on the night, as sophomore Jake Davies and junior Zach Brewster combined with Robinson to hold the Tigers to no runs and just three hits in the final three innings.
The series continues on Saturday at 1 p.m., as junior Brandon Cumpton will square off on the mound against Clemson’s Scott Weisman. The game will be televised live by Regional Sports Network.