Late Rally Secures Win for Georgia Tech
The Yellow Jackets (5-0) snapped a 3-3 deadlock with two runs in their half of the eighth. After the Eagles (1-4) responded with a run in the bottom of the inning, Georgia Tech added three more runs in the top of the ninth.
Georgia Southern answered with another run in their final at-bat, but that was as close as the Eagles would get.
Georgia Southern collected 11 hits and drew five walks off of six Yellow Jacket pitchers. However, the Eagles left 11 men on base, six of whom were stranded in scoring position.
Georgia Tech tallied 15 hits and drew two walks from a quartet of Georgia Southern pitchers. The Yellow Jackets left 10 men on base, four of them in scoring position.
A crowd of 1,570 fans watched as the Eagles battled back from deficits of 2-0 and 3-2. Georgia Tech struck quickly on Tony Plagman’s two-run homer with one out in the top of the first, but Georgia Southern tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Shawn Payne (Stone Mountain, Ga.) walked, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball before scoring on Kyle Blackburn’s (Marietta, Ga.) groundball to the first baseman. A.J. Wirnsberger (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) followed with his third home run of the season, a solo shot to left-center field that knotted the score at 2-2.
After the Eagles left the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, the Yellow Jackets regained the lead in the top of the fifth on Chase Burnette’s two-out RBI double. In the bottom of the sixth, Wirnsberger singled, Michael Burruss (Marietta, Ga.) doubled and Kevin Bowles (Statesboro, Ga.) walked to load the bases with nobody out against Georgia Tech reliever Andrew Robinson.
Eric Phillips (Carrollton, Ga.) followed with a run-scoring fielder’s choice to the second baseman that tied the game at 3-3, but Robinson retired the next two batters on a groundout and a strikeout to escape further damage.
In the bottom of the seventh, Georgia Southern had runners on first and second with one out before two more Yellow Jacket relievers worked their way out of the jam with a fly ball and a strikeout.
Georgia Tech went ahead to stay scoring two runs on four hits in the top of the eighth. Jacob Esch had an RBI single and Jeff Rowland added a sacrifice fly as the Yellow Jackets took a 5-3 lead.
The Eagles scored one run in the bottom of the eighth. Phillips reached on a fielder’s choice, moved to second on a passed ball and scored on a two-out single by Arthur Owens (Fayetteville, Ga.). Georgia Southern had runners on first and second, but the inning ended when a baserunner was thrown out trying to steal third.
The Yellow Jackets used three hits and an Eagle error to score three times in the top of the ninth. Cole Leonida had an RBI single and Esch had a two-run single as Georgia Tech increased its cushion to 8-4.
Payne led off the bottom of the ninth with a double and then scored on a Blackburn double. After an infield single by Randy J. Williams (Valdosta, Ga.), and a fielder’s choice by Bowles, Georgia Southern had runners on first and third with two outs and the tying run at the plate. But Yellow Jacket reliever Kevin Jacob got the final out on a fly ball to center field.
Zach Brewster (1-0), Georgia Tech’s fourth pitcher, was credited with the win. In one inning, he allowed one earned run on no hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
Jake Brown (0-2), the Eagles’ second pitcher, was charged with the loss. He worked 3.2 innings, giving up three runs (all earned) on three hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
For Georgia Southern, Payne was 2-for-4 with two runs, Blackburn was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and Wirnsberger was 2-for-5 with an RBI and two runs.
For the Yellow Jackets, Esch was 3-for-5 with three RBI, Burnette was 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs, Leonida was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run, Plagman was 2-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs, and Thomas Nichols was 2-for-3.
Georgia Southern will continue its season-opening eight-game homestand against Holy Cross on Saturday (Feb. 27) at 1:30 p.m.
- Category: Baseball
- Published on Wednesday, 24 February 2010 20:04