NASHVILLE – No. 3 seed Indiana State baseball took a 6-2 lead in the seventh before No. 2 seed Georgia Tech exploded for five runs en route to a 7-6 victory at Hawkins Field in Nashville.
Two walks and five base hits helped the Yellow Jackets surge in the seventh as the Sycamores went to a pair of arms out of the bullpen. After Geremy Guerrero allowed a leadoff double, ISU elected to go to left-hander Tyler Grauer who came in and struck out the first batter he faced. Luke Waddell then took the first pitch he saw to right-center before Grauer issued a walk to load the bases.
Justyn-Henry Malloy drove in two runs with a single to the gap in right to make it a 6-4 game before Georgia Tech (30-23) was able to put the tying runs in scoring position on a wild pitch signaling the end of the day for Grauer as Connor Fenlong entered from the bullpen. Stephen Reid singled in the tying runs with a ball through the right side of the infield before Drew Compton capped off the five-run inning, scoring the eventual game-winning run with a base hit to right field.
Georgia Tech closer Luke Bartnicki entered in the eighth inning and allowed two hits while striking out three of the seven Sycamores he faced en route to his seventh save of the year.
The Sycamores (30-20) did put the tying run on base in the ninth after a Miguel Rivera double, but a lineout double play ended the threat as Nick Barrett — who entered as a pinch runner — was caught between second and third.
Indiana State led for much of the game after putting up a crooked number in the first inning. Jordan Schaffer and Ellison Hanna II led off the game with back-to-back singles before Sean Ross was hit-by-pitch to load the bases a batter later. Catcher Grant Magill walked away with a two-run single to left before the Yellow Jackets were able to get out of the inning.
Brian Fuentes added to the lead in the second when the infielder hit his fifth home run of the season over the 35-foot wall in left field to lead off the inning.
Tech did answer in the bottom of the seconds with a two-run home run from Andrew Jenkins to cut into the lead before both starting pitchers were able to adjust to the strike zone and settle in.
Guerrero retired the side in order in two of the six innings he saw action in as Georgia Tech took the left-hander deep into counts, increasing pitch count early. Guerrero was able to respond in the middle innings as the Metamora, Ill., native did not allow a run until the seventh following a leadoff double.
Overall, Guerrero pitched six innings, allowing seven hits and three earned runs while facing 27 Yellow Jacket hitters in the no decision.
Tyler Grauer allowed two hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning while Fenlong was charged with the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the five-run seventh inning. Tech sprayed three hits against Fenlong as the righty fell to 4-2 on the season.
Hanna recorded a three-hit day at the plate to lead the Sycamores while Magill and Schaffer finished with two hits each. Magill drove in four runs while raising his average to .309 on the season.
Brant Hurter pitched six complete innings and struck out seven while allowing seven Sycamore hits in the no decision. The Yellow Jackets used three relievers in the seventh when ISU tallied two runs before Josiah Siegel was able to get GT out of the inning and watch from the bench at his teammates put up five runs to help him earn the victory and improve to 2-0 on the year.
Georgia Tech thrived in two-out situations with five hits in the game while Indiana State was 2-for-9 with two outs. ISU stranded nine runners while GT stranded seven.
Indiana State will play the loser of the Vanderbilt and Presbyterian game in an elimination game Saturday. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT on Saturday at Hawkins Field.
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