ATLANTA — Evans Boyd’s two-out double in the eighth inning scored two of Mercer’s four unanswered runs to lead the Bears to a 4-2 upset win against No. 6 Georgia Tech on Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets’ nation-leading win streak ends at 16 games with the loss.
It also ends a 17-game win streak for the Jackets (21-5) against Mercer (18-9) — dating back to 1998.
“The streak is over and we’ve got to start another one starting on Friday,” head coach Danny Hall said. “Give Mercer credit, they pitched it very well and that was probably the key to the game. Their lefty Moses just did a great job of limiting us, we didn’t hit many balls hard off of him, and he gave them the chance to win the game.”
Boyd’s two-out double to the wall in the right field off of Tech freshman reliever Dusty Isaacs scored Jacob Tanis and Thomas Carroll in the eighth inning, and concluded a four run rally for the Bears.
The Georgia Tech pitching staff had control issues for the better part of the night, walking the leadoff batter in five of the nine innings. Two of Mercer’s four runs were scored by runners that drew a leadoff walk.
“When you are in a tight game, and you walk the leadoff hitter in particular, the other team has an easier chance to score,” Hall said. “We did that two innings in a row and they end up getting three runs out of it. I think they had one hit in each of those innings, a bunt hit to tie the game and a two out hit to win it. It’s the way it goes.”
Isaacs fell to 1-1 on the season with the loss, allowing both runs on three hits over 1.1 innings of relief.
Tech was led at the plate by junior Matt Skole, who had three of the Jackets 10 hits.
Mercer’s Russell Moses (2-1) earned the win on the mound after holding the Jackets scoreless over 5.1 innings of relief. Moses entered for Bears’ starter Justice French in the fourth inning, and kept the Tech bats off-balance by yielding just four hits the rest of the game.
The Jackets took a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the first on a RBI double by Skole to right center field off of Mercer starter Justice French. Freshman Kyle Wren scored from second base on the play after leading off the game with a single before stealing second base.
Freshman Chase Butler made it 2-0 for Tech in the fourth inning with a two-out single up the middle that scored Jake Davies from second base.
Tech’s Matthew Grimes held Mercer without a hit through the first four frames of his start, but allowed two costly Mercer singles to start the fifth inning. After Grimes struck out Evan Boyd, Mercer’s Derrick Workman singled home a run that cut the lead in half.
Grimes went just five innings Tuesday, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts. He issued four of Tech’s six walks.
The Bears would tie it at 2-2 with two outs in the seventh on a RBI bunt single by Billy Burns off of Wood to score teammate Evan Boyd.
Tech will resume conference action with a three game series against Duke at Durham Bulls Athletic Park this weekend. First pitch is at 6 p.m. on Friday, 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.