Hyde, the Jackets’ starting shortstop, went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, and Didrick came on in relief and pitched four innings, giving up two runs on just two hits to earn the win in Tech’s 8-5 win over Miami.
“It was awesome,” said Didrick of getting a chance to pitch in the ACC Championship Game. “I was pretty surprised because I thought I might get in a few innings late in the game, but (coach Hall) went to me in the third so I just came out and threw strikes. I went after hitters tried to do my job.”
Didrick now has a 2-0 record for the season in 14 relief appearances and has struck out 14 batters.
Hyde’s first RBI came in the first inning on a sac fly to give the Jackets a 4-0 lead. He then blasted a ball over the left field fence in the third for a solo homer to give Tech a 6-1 lead.
“It really means a lot to be able to contribute in a big game like that,” said Hyde.
The win over Miami was the Jackets fifth in a row, the first of those five coming in the regular-season finale against same Miami team which clinched a spot in the ACC Tournament. Georgia Tech then became the first ever No. 8 seed to win the ACC Tournament.
Didrick said the win is even bigger for him because this was his last chance at it as a senior.
“It mean’s everything to me,” said Didrick. “It kind of wraps up my career on a high note. We came together at the right time, and we’re not finished just yet.”
This is the first year Didrick has come out of the bullpen for Tech after spending his first three seasons as an outfielder.
The Jackets’ latest streak comes after a season of ups and downs for Tech, who now moves into the NCAA Tournament and will open play on Friday as the No. 2 seed in the Gainesville Regional hosted by No. 1 overall seed Florida.
“We’ve been playing our best baseball lately,” said Didrick.
“We’ve been showing a strong will to win, staying behind each other and have been able to keep up the energy in the dugout.”
For Hyde, the two hits in the title game are just the latest in his big second-half surge to the season for the sophomore, after starting the year slower than he expected. He’s hitting .270 on the season with seven home runs, 11 doubles and 32 RBIs.
“The biggest thing for me lately is just feeling comfortable at the plate,” said Hyde. “I made some adjustments about midway through the season and made a little change to my stance, and it’s paid off for me.”
The tournament committee did the Jackets no favors, putting them in the regional with No. 1 overall seed Florida as well as a talented College of Charleston team as the No. 3 seed.
Even with the tough draw, Didrick said the team has a new attitude about it with their recent surge as they.
“I feel like we’re going in there pretty confident,” said Didrick. “We’ve got a good thing going right now and are probably one of the hottest teams in the country. I really think we can go down there and play well. I know Florida’s probably not happy to draw us.”
The Jackets opened play in the regional against the College of Charleston on Friday. (For coverage of how Hyde, Didrick and the Jackets did in the region, see Wednesday’s Calhoun Times.)