May 25, 2003
By HANK KURZ Jr.
AP Sports Writer
SALEM, Va. – Mike Mikeas lined a two-run double just inside the left field line Sunday, highlighting a six-run ninth inning and lifting Georgia Tech over Florida St. 10-7 and into the ACC championship – Tech’s third game of the day.
Georgia Tech was to play North Carolina State for the title Sunday night.
The Yellow Jackets (43-16), who had already beaten North Carolina in the first game, rallied in the most improbable way – against Seminoles’ closer Daniel Hodges and with a huge assist from shortstop Stephen Drew.
The Yellow Jackets came to bat in the ninth to face Hodges, who had allowed five runs all year and converted 12 of 13 save opportunities.
Having put together big innings all tournament, the second seeds did it again, starting with a single by Tyler Greene. An out later, Eric Patterson singled and Steven Blackwood walked to load the bases.
Hodges (5-1) then got Matt Murton to hit a potential game-ending double play grounder to short, but Drew fielded it near second and seemed unsure whether to flip to second baseman Bryan Zech or take it himself.
He did neither, bobbling the ball as a run scored.
Clifton Remole’s grounder to first brought another run home, and Mickeas lined his double, giving the Yellow Jackets an 8-7 lead.
Jeremy Slayden’s triple to center scored Mickeas, and Micah Owings laced a single up the middle, scoring Slayden to finish the scoring.
Brian Burks (5-1), who pitched the last 5 2/3 innings, retired the side in order, finishing off a string of 10 straight Seminoles.
The defending tournament champions fell to 50-10-1.
The Yellow Jackets got within 7-4 in the seventh when Greene drew a walk and Patterson singled with one out. Murton doubled to center with two outs, and both runners scored when Tony McQuade bobbled the ball.
Remole then flied out to strand Murton at second.
The Seminoles led 4-2 when they scored three times in the sixth.
Christ Hart singled and Daniel Wardell was hit by a pitch to start it, and Bryan Zech sacrificed both runners up. Kevin Richmond then hit a squib in front of the plate, and Burks initially bobbled the ball, missing a chance to get Hart, but salvaged an out by nipping Richmond at first.
Drew followed with a two-run homer, making it 7-2.
The Yellow Jackets, playing about 30 minutes after beating North Carolina 10-6 in the first game, fell behind 4-0 against Glen Simon, who started despite pitching only four innings since his last start March 26.
In the fifth, doubles to begin the inning by Owings and Greene knocked out Simon. Greene then made the risky move of stealing third while trailing pay off, scoring as Patterson grounded out to second.