Georgia Tech’s season came to an effective end Tuesday with a gut punch. In the opening game of the ACC Tournament in Louisville, Ky., the Yellow Jackets lost to Miami 6-5 in 13 innings. In the bottom of the 13th, a one-out single off Tech reliever Zac Ryan scored the game-winning run for the Hurricanes in walk-off fashion.
Tech will play its second pool-play game Wednesday against Wake Forest, but it is meaningless from the Jackets’ standpoint. Tech is in a three-team pool with Miami and Wake Forest, and the tiebreaker to win the pool is seeding. As the No. 10 seed, Tech cannot win the group over No. 6 Miami or No. 3 Wake Forest with a 1-1 record in pool play.
Tech’s record fell to 27-27. To get into the NCAA Tournament, the Jackets needed to win the conference tournament. The Jackets can salvage some pride by beating the Demon Deacons, scheduled for 7 p.m. With a win, Tech will record a winning season for the 36th consecutive season. Tech’s last losing season was in 1981. Even with a win, though, the Jackets will finish with the lowest winning percentage in that 36-year span.
The Jackets took a 4-1 lead in the top of the third before a grand slam by Miami’s Hunter Tackett gave the Hurricanes a 5-4 lead in the bottom of the third. Tech tied the score at 5 in the top of the fifth when Austin Wilhite singled in Trevor Craport. But the Jackets stranded three in the fifth, two in the sixth and three more in the seventh without scoring.
The final out in the top of the seventh started a sequence in which 17 consecutive batters were retired by Miami reliever Andrew Cabezas, who pitched the final 6 1/3 for Miami and picked up the win. Ryan pitched the final 4 2/3 innings, allowing only the game-winning run to take the loss.
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