Tech drops pool-play opener to Miami

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Designated hitter Kel Johnson was 0-for-4 against Miami and left two on base in the Yellow Jackets’ 4-0 loss Wednesday. (GT Athletics/Danny Karnik)

Georgia Tech fell behind early, stranded runners and took a 4-0 loss to top-seeded Miami Wednesday in the Yellow Jackets’ first game in pool play at the ACC tournament in Durham, N.C.

Tech is now 0-1 in pool play, with games remaining against Florida State (Thursday 3 p.m.) and N.C. State (Friday, 7 p.m.). To make the championship game, the Jackets will need to win both remaining games and hope Miami takes at least one loss in its final two pool games.

Tech (36-21) fell behind 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning when starter Jake Lee allowed four of the first five batters to reach base, three via bases on balls. Coach Danny Hall removed Lee for Ben Parr at that point, and Parr gave up a single and sacrifice bunt that scored the second and third runs of the game.

Parr was dominant from that point on, holding Miami (44-10) scoreless over the next six innings and retiring 13 batters in a row at one point. However, Tech couldn’t deliver a timely hit and stranded nine runners in the game, five in scoring position. The game ended with pinch hitter Arden Pabst striking out with the bases loaded.

Miami’s Jesse Lepore improved to 9-0 with six innings of shutout work. Parr staying on the mound for 6 2/3 innings was Tech’s one bright spot Wednesday.

“It was huge for us,” Hall said. “Particularly when you get behind early, you get a chance to go through a lot of pitchers, but he really ate a lot of innings for us. We are sitting here in good shape in terms of number of guys we have available to throw.”

FSU is ranked No. 13 in the country and N.C. State 14th in the USA Today coaches poll. Miami is ranked No. 4. The Seminoles defeated the Wolfpack 7-3 earlier Wednesday.

The remaining pool games will be broadcast on regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South, and ESPN3.

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