Georgia Tech beats Duke baseball for second day in a row

For the second day in a row, Duke’s offense gave its pitching staff an early three-run lead.

For the second day in a row, those pitchers were unable to protect it against Georgia Tech’s booming bats.

The Yellow Jackets scored five runs in the third inning and 12 more in the fifth on Friday, easily erasing that early deficit to pound the Blue Devils 20-7 in ACC baseball at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta.

The win came after Georgia Tech won the first game of the three-game series 9-6 on Thursday night, when the Yellow Jackets rallied from an early 3-0 deficit.

The two losses mean Duke (38-14, 17-11 in ACC) has lost an ACC series for just the third time this season. The Blue Devils lost two of three to Wake Forest and N.C. State in April.

Georgia Tech (31-24, 14-15) goes for the series sweep on Saturday at 1 p.m. Duke carries three-game losing streak -- which matches its season-worse skid -- into the regular-season finale.

With North Carolina (Coastal) and Clemson (Atlantic) having clinched the league’s division titles, the Blue Devils can finish with no better than the No. 3 seed and no worse than the No. 5 seed for the ACC tournament, which begins Tuesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Duke entered Friday’s game ranked third in the ACC in team earned run average (3.51) but has now given up eight or more runs in three games in a row.

The Blue Devils scored single runs in each of the first three innings on Friday to take a 3-0 lead.

But starting pitcher Ryan Day was unable to protect it.

The Yellow Jackets sent eight men to the plate in the third inning while scoring five runs. The big blow was Colin Hall’s two-out, three-run home run that put Georgia Tech in front for good at 5-3.

Duke scored a single run in the fourth, but Georgia Tech rocked Day and Blue Devils relief pitcher Bill Chillari for 12 runs on nine hits in the fifth inning.

After entering the game with a solid 3.83 ERA for the season, Day lasted just 4 ⅓ innings, allowing nine runs on nine hits, including two home runs.

Chillari, with a 2.73 ERA this season, entered the game with one out in the fifth but failed to record an out. He allowed four runs on three hits and one walk.