May 14, 2009
DURHAM, N.C. – Chris House tied a career-high with four RBI, and Deck McGuire scattered five hits over eight innings to improve to 10-0 on the season, as seventh-ranked Georgia Tech handed Duke a 10-3 loss Thursday night at Jack Coombs Field.
With the win, the Yellow Jackets (34-13-1) improved to 17-8-1 against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents and are one game ahead of North Carolina in the race for the Coastal Division title after the Tar Heels dropped a 3-1 decision at Boston College earlier in the day.
The loss dropped Duke to 32-22 on the season and 13-15 in ACC games. The two teams will meet again at 2 p.m. Friday in the second game of the series.
Holding a narrow 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth inning, the Jackets loaded the bases when Duke starter Christopher Manno (5-5) walked two batters and hit another. House then cleared the bases with a triple off the centerfield wall, which pushed Tech’s lead to 6-2.
The Tech left fielder added an RBI double as part of a four-run seventh inning that pushed Tech’s lead to 10-2.
“House had a great night,” head coach Danny Hall said. “He played very well, both in the field and at the plate.”
McGuire (10-0) became the first Tech pitcher to win 10 games in a season since Blake Wood tallied 11 in 2006, and he’s one of just seven Yellow Jackets to accomplish the feat in the last decade. The Richmond, Va., native gave up just two runs on five hits while striking out seven and walking only one in his eight innings of work.
“Deck pitched extremely well tonight and was in command of both his fastball and his breaking ball,” Hall said. “He also received some excellent defense behind him, particularly with House making two very good plays in left field.
The first five runs of the game all came courtesy of the long ball, three of which were off the bats of Matt Skole, Luke Murton and Jay Dantzler to push Tech’s home run total to 99 on the season. The 99 home runs are the most by a Tech team since 1998, and the fourth-best mark in school history.
“Murton had a great night at the plate, and it was good to see Skole get a few hits to get his confidence going again,” Hall added. “Jay Dantzler earned his first start after being hurt the last few weeks, and it was good to see him hit one out as well. I am proud of all of those guys.”
Skole staked the Jackets to a 1-0 lead in the second inning with his 14th home run of the season, but Duke quickly evened the score in the bottom of the frame on a solo shot by Jeremy Gould.
Murton blasted his 16th homer of the season in the top of the third inning, and Dantzler, making his first start since suffering a wrist injury in mid-April, smacked his fourth of the year to push Tech’s lead to 3-1 in the fourth.
Nate Freiman pulled the Blue Devils to within one run with a solo homer in the bottom of the fourth inning, but House’s bases-clearing hit in the top of the fifth put the game out of reach.
Skole, House and Jeff Rowland all had run-scoring doubles in the top of the seventh inning to account for Tech’s final four runs. Skole finished the series opener 2-for-4 with three RBI and three runs scored, while Rowland led the Jackets with three hits on the night.
Friday’s game can be heard on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org).