Feb. 15, 2003
STATESBORO, Ga. – Kyle Bakker worked six strong innings in game one, and Jeremy Slayden and Eric Patterson both homered in game two to lead top-ranked Georgia Tech to a doubleheader sweep of Georgia Southern , 8-1 and 8-3, on Saturday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium. The victories extend Georgia Tech’s (2-0) current winning streak over Georgia Southern (3-2) to 19 games dating back to 1997.
The Yellow Jackets opened the season with a victory for the fourth consecutive season and for the eighth time in 10 years under head coach Danny Hall.
In game one, Bakker (1-0) earned the win on opening day for the second consecutive season after holding Georgia Southern to one run on four hits in six innings of work. He issued just one walk and struck out four batters while allowing just three batters to advance past first base. Brian Burks tossed three shutout innings to close out the game and earn his first save of the season.
The Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Tyler Greene homered in his first collegiate at bat. The Eagles tied the score at 1-1 on a RBI double from A.J. Zickgraf in the fourth inning. Tech answered with a RBI double from Mike Nickeas to take a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Tech broke the game open with four runs in the sixth inning, capped by a RBI double from Greene and a RBI single from Micah Owings. A RBI double from Nickeas in the eighth inning and a RBI single from Steven Blackwood in the ninth provided the final 8-1 margin. Nickeas went 2-for-4 with three RBI, Greene drove in two runs on two hits and Clifton Remole added two hits. Carlos Love had three of Georgia Southern’s four hits in the game.
GSU starter Brian Rogers (1-1) took the loss, surrendering six runs in 5.1 innings despite striking out nine batters.
IN GAME TWO, Tech jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Slayden’s first home run of the season. The Eagles responded with three runs in the fourth inning, including a home run from Rocky Baker, to take a 3-2 lead.
Tech retook the lead, 6-3, with four runs in the top of the sixth inning on four consecutive RBI singles from Jake Hall, Andy Hawranick, Eric Patterson and Nickeas. The Yellow Jackets added two more runs in the eighth when Patterson hit a solo home run, his first of the season, and Blackwood was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Owings (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Yellow Jackets by working 3.1 innings of scoreless and hitless relief. Jeff Watchko worked a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game, while starter Chris Goodman did not figure in the decision after allowing three runs in 4.1 innings.
Patterson led the Tech offense with three hits in six at bats, and Nickeas and Hawranick added two hits apiece in the game.
Georgia Southern starter Brian Harrison (1-1) took the loss in game two, allowing five runs in 5.2 innings.
Georgia Tech will return to action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. when the Yellow Jackets travel to Mercer. Live statistics for the game will be available on www.ramblinwreck.com.