Bulldogs complete sweep of Jackets with stunning play

A most unlikely play felled Georgia Tech a third time this season to rival Georgia on Tuesday night. In the top of the ninth, Georgia’s Mitchell Webb scored from first on a single to center to give the Bulldogs the winning run in an 8-7 victory in the teams’ first meeting at SunTrust Park. Georgia earned a season sweep of the Yellow Jackets, its first over Tech in a season series of three or more games since 1984.

The score was tied at 7-7 in the top of the ninth with two out and the bases empty when Webb foul tipped a 3-2 pitch from Micah Carpenter. Catcher Kyle McCann appeared to catch it for the third strike, but home-plate umpire Craig Barron ruled that McCann did not make a clean catch, extending Webb’s at-bat.

After Tech coach Danny Hall emerged from the dugout to fiercely argue the call, Webb proceeded to walk Carpenter.

“From my angle, it looked like it went right in the catcher’s mitt,” Hall said. “They said it hit the dirt before he caught it.”

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The next batter, Keegan McGovern, singled to shallow center, where center fielder Ryan Peurifoy bobbled the ball and casually tossed it back into the infield to second baseman Wade Bailey. With a great jump, that was all the margin that Webb needed. Never slowing down, Webb was waved home and slid home safe, well ahead of Bailey’s relay to the plate. It spoiled an otherwise sparkling night for Peurifoy, who was 3-for-4 and hit a bases-loaded double in the fifth for Tech’s first three runs of the game.

“I saw it was down, and I was going first to third, trying to get into scoring position, and I saw coach (Scott) Daeley wave me home and I just kept running,” Webb said. “Luckily, he bobbled it and we got the score. It was pretty cool.”

In the bottom of the ninth, the Jackets put runners on first and second with one out, but could do nothing with it. The two Jackets left on base were the last of the 11 that Tech stranded in the game.

Georgia (20-29) can claim the title of state’s best (although the Bulldogs were 0-2 against Mercer) for the second year in a row. Tech (24-22) came back from deficits of 3-0 and 7-4 to tie the game at 7 in the bottom of the eighth before falling.

Relief pitcher Tim Elliott (1-0) got the win for Georgia while Carpenter (0-1) took the loss.

“Disappointing loss, quite honestly,” Hall said. “I don’t think we played really well.”

Attendance was announced at 23,737, the largest in the annual game to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta since 2009 and the third largest in its 15-game history.