It was an unsurprising development for a team that entered the game ranked in the top 10 in Division I in scoring (9.1 runs per game) and in the bottom quartile in ERA (6.59).
But with two out in the top of the ninth, Tech answered when Andrew Jenkins took reliever Baron Stuart deep for a solo home run and an 8-7 lead.
Maxwell came back out for the ninth and, after putting the first runner on base via walk, retired the next three batters in order for the win. Maxwell threw the final 2-2/3 innings with the one run allowed, striking out four and walking one.
Beyond eliminating the possibility of potentially becoming the first Tech team ever not to make it into the ACC Tournament field (it has been a limited-entry field since 2006), the Jackets also helped further secure their spot in the NCAA Tournament. While Tech started the day ranked No. 25 in RPI, the Jackets also had the worst record of any team in the top 40, which put them on the “last four in” list (albeit 61st) of D1Baseball.com’s projected NCAA Tournament bracket published Thursday morning.
Tech and Pitt will play again at Cost Field on Friday and Saturday. Marquis Grissom will start for the Jackets in the second game, with Saturday’s starter to be determined.