May 13, 2008
ATLANTA – Nick Montgomery and three relievers combined to scatter five hits, while Ryan Peisel homered to lift Georgia past Georgia Tech, 3-2, in the regular-season series finale between the two rivals Tuesday night at Turner Field.
The sixth Spring Baseball Classic for Kids, pitting the two teams in one of their regular season meetings, drew 22,599 fans, the second highest attendance in the history of the event.
The win helped Georgia (34-17-1) avoid a regular-season sweep at the hands of Tech (36-16). The Jackets had defeated the Bulldogs 9-4 in Atlanta on April 9 and 11-1 in Athens last Wednesday.
Deck McGuire (8-1), a freshman bidding to earn his third win this season against Georgia, instead suffered his first loss of the season. He struggled early but managed to last six innings, scattering 10 hits and while allowing three runs. He walked three and fanned six, six days after a 9-strikeout, 0-walk performance in his win in Athens, and left the game trailing 3-2.
His counterpart, Montgomery (2-1), allowed just two hits, a walk and a run through five innings. The senior from Marietta, Ga., struck out three and left with his team ahead 3-1. He had excellent help from the Bulldogs’ bullpen, which scattered four hits and allowed just one unearned run over the final four frames.
Joshua Fields finished off the game by retiring Tech in order in the ninth, striking out two, for his 16th save.
The teams exchanged first inning runs, with Tech striking first by parlaying a Jeff Rowland walk into a run when he scored on Derek Dietrich’s single. Ryan Peisel’s leadoff homer in the bottom half quickly tied the game.
Matt Cerione doubled and scored on David Thoms’ single to put the Bulldogs ahead, 2-1 in the second. Georgia extended its lead to 3-1 in the fifth when Gordon Beckham singled and scored on Bryce Massanari’s fielder’s choice grounder.
Tech scored the last run of the game in the sixth when Charlie Blackmon legged out an infield single and came around to score on an error by second baseman Thoms. Tech left the tying run at third that inning, and stranded two more in the eighth before Fields came on to close the game.
The Jackets wrap-up their Atlantic Coast Conference regular-season schedule beginning Thursday with a three-game series at Virginia. Game times are 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and 1 p.m. Saturday. All three games can be seen online at ACCSelect.com, with live stats available at Ramblinwreck.com.