Big First Inning Leads Jackets Past Panthers, 7-3

April 2, 2014

Box Score

THE FLATS – A.J. Murray launched a grand slam home run during Georgia Tech’s five-run first inning and the Yellow Jackets cruised to a 7-3 win over Georgia State Wednesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.

The victory allowed Tech to complete a two-game season sweep of the Panthers and improve to 16-13 overall. The Panthers slipped to 14-16.

Rookie lefty Ben Parr tossed a shutout over his 5.2 innings on the mound and picked up his second win (2-1). He scattered five hits with two strikeouts and sophomore lefty Sam Clay preserved the shutout by getting the final out of the sixth after State loaded the bases.

Mott Hyde, who extended his hitting streak to seven games, was 2-for-4 and scored twice, while Connor Justus and Daniel Spingola each had two of Tech’s 10 hits. Thomas Smith walked twice and scored.

The first seven batters reached base safely in the bottom of the first as the Yellow Jackets chased starter Tyler McClure just six hitters into the game. Hyde led off with a single and Justus followed in the next at bat with an RBI double to left.

Matt Gonzalez beat out an infield single and Smith loaded the bases with a walk before Murray’s second home run of the season was launched into the net behind the wall in left field. For Murray, it was his second career grand slam and Tech’s first home run since March 14 versus Miami – snapping an 11-game homer-less drought.

“Coming off the weekend, I talked to our team about getting a quick start against these guys,” said head coach Danny Hall. “I thought we had some good at bats early, and A.J. put a great swing on one for the grand slam that gave us a cushion.”

An error with two outs allowed Tech to expand its lead to 6-0 in the fourth and Brandon Gold’s sacrifice fly in the fifth made it 7-0. It stayed that way until the eighth when the Panthers scratched across two runs off the Tech bullpen, and tacked on one more in the ninth.

Matt Rose had two hits and drove in a run for the Panthers, while Joey Roach’s two-run single with two outs in the eighth inning ended Tech’s shutout bid.

The Yellow Jackets remain home this weekend to host Duke in an ACC series at Russ Chandler Stadium. All three games can be seen on ESPN3. Friday’s first pitch is set for 7 p.m.


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