April 14, 2009
ATHENS, Ga. – Jed Bradley scattered five runs over six innings and Jason Haniger went 4-for-5 with a home run to help No. 10 Georgia Tech (22-8-1) knock off top-ranked Georgia (29-7), 11-6, Tuesday night at Foley Field.
Bradley (2-2) tied a career-high with seven strikeouts to help the Yellow Jackets to their fifth win over a ranked opponent this season and their first against the nation’s top-ranked team since the 2003 season. The freshman lefty faced just one over the minimum from the third through fifth innings to earn his second win of the season.
“Other than one time midweek, Jed has had a good start every time that he has gone out there,” head coach Danny Hall said. “He’s only 18 years old and could probably still be in high school, but he’s done a nice job for us. I think he grew up a lot tonight, pitching in this environment.
“Georgia was ranked No. 1 coming in here, so any time you come in here and beat a very good team like Georgia it gives your team confidence. This is a step in the right direction, for us to go on the road and beat a ranked opponent.”
The bullpen took over in the seventh inning and held the Bulldogs to just one run on five hits over the final three innings to preserve the win. Jake Davies struck out two with the bases loaded to end the seventh and Mark Pope forced an inning-ending fielder’s choice in the eighth. Zach Brewster then came on with one out and a runner on in the bottom of the ninth to strike out pinch hitters Lyle Allen and Adam Fuller to end the game.
Haniger fell a triple short of the cycle, belting a home run in the first inning, a double in the second inning, and singles in the sixth and eighth innings. Cole Leonida and Matt Skole also smacked home runs in the game.
Haniger’s two-run home run staked the Yellow Jackets to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and Tech added three runs in the second with a two-run triple by Jeff Rowland and a sacrifice fly from Derek Dietrich to make the score 5-0.
Georgia narrowed Tech’s lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the second inning on a two-run homer by Michael Demperio, but Leonida’s three-run home run in the top of the third made the score 8-2 in the Yellow Jackets’ favor.
A run-scoring single by Tony Plagman gave Tech a seven-run lead in the top of the sixth, but Georgia answered with a solo home run by Joey Lewis in the bottom of the frame to make the score 9-3.
A solo home run by Levi Hyams and run-scoring single from Bryce Massanari made it a four-run game in the bottom of the seventh before reliever Patrick Long forced Joey Lewis to pop up for the first out of the inning. Davies then came on with the bases loaded to strike out Chase Davidson and Zach Cone to get the Jackets out of the jam.
“Jake is a very good competitor and it was a huge pitch in the game to get the strikeout with the bases loaded,” Hall said. “That’s why I put him in there – he’s been very tough on left-handed hitters of late, and it was a huge strikeout.”
The Bulldogs threatened again in the bottom of the eighth inning, putting runners on first and second with two outs, but the Jackets turned to Pope, who forced Georgia slugger Rich Poythress into an inning-ending fielder’s choice.
Matt Skole belted a two-run homer in the ninth inning to give the Yellow Jackets a six-run cushion before the Bulldogs capped the scoring with a solo home run from Massanari in the bottom of the ninth.
Georgia starter Chase Hawkins (2-2) suffered his second loss of the season, giving up five runs on six hits in the first two innings of the game.
The Yellow Jackets return to action Wednesday when they travel to Panthersville for a 6 p.m. contest against Georgia State. The game can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), and live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.
NOTE: The last time Tech defeated a team ranked No. 1 in the country was in 2003, when the Yellow Jackets knocked off No. 1 Florida State en route to capturing the ACC Championship.