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Georgia Tech Athletics | May 22, 2014

Georgia Tech rallies past top-seeded Miami at ACC tournament

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Brandon Gold broke a 3-3 tie with a two-run single in the eighth and Josh Heddinger tossed seven strong innings as Georgia Tech rallied to beat top-seeded Miami (Fla.) 6-3 on Wednesday in ACC Championship pool play.

The Yellow Jackets, who have knocked off their pool's top seed in each of the past three tournaments, improved to 34-24 with their fourth consecutive win. Miami, the ACC's regular-season champion and ranked sixth in top 25, slipped to 40-16 with its third loss in four games against Tech this year.

The game's final five runs were scored by Tech to improve to 1-0 in Pool A. Clemson beat Duke earlier Wednesday and is also 1-0 in the pool. The Jackets battle the Blue Devils on Thursday, with the Tigers and Hurricanes to follow.

Ryan Peurifoy was a career-best 4-for-4 and scored three times, while Matt Gonzalez had three of Tech's 14 hits. Connor Justus and Arden Pabst each chipped in two hits, and Pabst added two RBI. Peurifoy has hit safely in eight consecutive games and is batting .750 (6-for-8) in the tournament.

"I thought it was an outstanding college baseball game," head coach Danny Hall, who is now 41-36 in ACC tournament play, said. "I said it [Tuesday] it seems like every game in this league is very hotly contested and usually comes down to somebody getting a two-out hit like Brandon Gold did [Wednesday]. It's a great start for us. We're happy to win, and we're going to play a good Duke team [Thursday]." 

Tech, which did all of its damage in Tuesday's 5-3 win against Wake Forest with two outs, continued that against the Canes as its decisive rally in the eighth came with two down. After reliever Cooper Hammond set two down quickly, Justus' beat out an infield single, Peurifoy laced a double to right and Gold brought them both home by rapping a single to right.

Mott Hyde doubled in the ninth and Gonzalez quickly scored him when he punched a single to right for insurance. Reliever Dusty Isaacs yielded two singles in the eighth before rolling a 5-4-3 double play then slammed the door with a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save in as many days.

Heddinger allowed seven hits and three runs during his seven innings on the mound and earned his fourth win (4-4). He fanned five in his second win this season against a top-10 team after beating Florida State in April.

"I tried to go out there and throw strikes and give our team a chance to win," Heddinger said. "They're a very good hitting team as they showed all year. We played them early in the year, and they were really good. I had to make quality pitches down in the zone. I knew if we did that, we'd have a chance to win [Wednesday]."

Dale Carey broke the ice in the third by launching a one-out solo home run to left and Pabst tied it in fifth with his RBI single up the middle.

The Canes regained the lead with back-to-back two-out RBI singles from Tyler Palmer and Zach Collins, but Pabst came through again for the Jackets in the seventh. He ripped a double down the left-field line to plate Peurifoy and the game was tied in the next at bat when Hyde's sac fly drove in Gold.

After turning a pair of double plays and playing error-free in Tuesday's win against Wake, Tech rolled two more and was airtight defensively again Wednesday. With 68 double plays turned this year, the Jackets continue to lead the NCAA and are four shy of tying the school's single-season record set in 1985.

Hammond was tagged his first loss (5-1) for Miami. Starter Andrew Suarez yielded nine hits and three in 6.1 innings but didn't factor in the decision. Carey paced the Canes with three hits.

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