May 2, 2008
ATLANTA – Brad Rulon worked out of an eighth-inning jam and Jason Haniger delivered a key two-out hit in the bottom of the frame to help Georgia Tech (32-13) to a 10-6 win over No. 15 Coastal Carolina Friday in the series opener at Russ Chandler Stadium.
With runners on second and third and no outs in the top of the eighth, Rulon struck out Jose Iglesias and Rico Noel before forcing leadoff hitter David Sappelt to groundout, helping the Jackets maintain a 7-6 edge in the game.
A two-out hit by Tony Plagman preceded three consecutive walks issued by Chanticleer pitchers for the first run of the eighth inning before Haniger’s bases-loaded single added two more to push Tech’s lead to four runs entering the ninth.
Rulon then closed out the game by retiring the Chants in order to pick up his fourth save of the season. The senior right-hander allowed just one hit and struck out three in his two innings of work.
Haniger led all players with three RBI on a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, while Plagman and Charlie Blackmon added two hits apiece.
The Jackets received timely hitting the entire night, as their first six runs were off home runs, while seven of their nine hits went for extra bases. The Jackets didn’t strand a runner on base until the seventh inning, and left only three men on base the entire game.
Tech starter David Duncan (6-2) picked up the win while Bobby Gagg (6-2) suffered the loss.
Sappelt led off the game with a single, stole second base, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by David Anderson and scored on an RBI groundout by Dock Doyle to give Coastal Carolina a 1-0 lead.
A two-run home run from Thomas Nichols gave the Yellow Jackets a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the second, but the Chanticleers tied the game in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Anderson.
Tech regained the lead in the bottom of the third behind a two-run home run by Blackmon and a solo shot from Jeff Rowland before a solo home run by Haniger made the score 6-2 in favor of the Jackets in the fifth inning.
Coastal Carolina scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning to narrow Tech’s lead to 6-5, but Andrew Robinson preserved the lead by forcing Noel into a fielders choice, resulting in Tyler Bortnick being thrown out at home plate, before a line out ended the Chants’ threat.
The Jackets and Chanticleers continue the series Saturday in a game that is scheduled to be aired live on SportSouth. First pitch is at 4:05 p.m., and the game can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta) while live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.