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A night after recording their most impressive comeback win of the season, No. 21 Miami clinched their series with Georgia Tech on Friday night, taking game two by a final score of 8-6.
In a back-and-forth affair at Russ Chandler Stadium, the two teams combined for 23 hits, including 13 from Miami offense - only one shy of their season-high. In the end, however, a shutdown performance from the Hurricanes' bullpen was just good enough to walk off the diamond with another big conference win.
After being subdued for much of Thursday night by talented Yellow Jackets' starter Buck Farmer, the Hurricanes' offense exploded for three runs on three hits off lefthander Jake Davies in the game's very first inning. Powered by one of two doubles on the night from Chantz Mack and a big two-out, two-RBI single from junior infielder Michael Broad in the inning, Miami jumped out to an early 3-0 lead at Russ Chandler.
The Yellow Jackets (31-24, 11-18 ACC) would respond with a big first inning of their own, however, helped by two defensive miscues from Miami in the frame. Junior lefthander Steven Ewing would allow two hits in the inning, including a big RBI double from Davies, as Tech quickly erased the deficit and tied the game up at 3-3. Heading into the top of the second inning, the two teams had combined for more runs than were scored in the first seven innings of Thursday's series opener.
After leaving the bases loaded in the third inning, Miami would strike for four more runs in the fourth to regain a sizable lead. Before being pulled by manager Danny Hall, Davies loaded the bases on walks issued to Jarred Mederos and Stephen Perez sandwiched around a Garrett Kennedy single. Unfortunately for the Jackets, reliever Dusty Isaacs was unable to stop the bleeding.
Dale Carey reached on a rare catcher's interference call, moving all three runners up a base as Miami (34-18, 16-13 ACC) regained a 4-3 lead. Mack then ripped his second double of the night to left field, plating both Kennedy and Perez to up the team's advantage to 6-3. A deep sacrifice fly from senior outfielder Rony Rodriguez would cap the inning's scoring, as Miami exited the inning with a commanding 7-3 lead.
The Jackets would not go quietly, however, as they plated three runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the deficit to 7-6. Tech would manage six baserunners in the inning, as a bases-loaded walk to leadoff hitter Kyle Wren gave the Jackets their third run of the frame. But a well-turned 6-4-3 double play induced by reliever Javi Salas got the team out of the inning with no further damage.
Miami would tack on an insurance run in the seventh, and the team's bullpen effectively shut down the Tech offense. Salas, Chris Diaz, E.J. Encinosa, and AJ Salcines all recorded near flawless innings for Miami, who allowed only three baserunners after the fourth inning. The four relievers combined for five scoreless, shutting the door on a big 8-6 victory.