March 4, 2012
ATLANTA – Zane Evans’ two-run triple in the seventh inning proved to be the difference and Dusty Isaacs made another strong start, as No. 12 Georgia Tech beat Rutgers, 6-3, Sunday to sweep the weekend series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets, who outscored the Scarlet Knights 31-9 in the series, improved to 10-2 overall and moved head coach Danny Hall within three victories of reaching the 1,000th in his 25-year career (19th at Tech).
Sam Dove and Evan Martin each finished the day 3-for-4, while Evans collected a double, a triple, two RBI and a run. Daniel Palka had two more hits and an RBI to extend his career-long hitting streak to 11 games.
Isaacs won for the third time in as many starts this season (3-0), limiting the Scarlet Knights (3-5) to just two runs on three hits over six innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Luke Bard fired a scoreless ninth to record his second save of the season and 12th career, which moves him to tied for ninth on Tech’s all-time list.
After cruising through the first four innings without a runner reaching second base, Issacs closed out a rocky fifth with a strikeout of Nick Favatella to strand runners at second and third, after Rutgers had scored twice in the frame to make it 3-2. Isaacs then hung a 1-2-3 inning in sixth, and watched his bullpen close it out.
“He pitched great,” said Hall. “But he gave up a two-out walk and then a hit and another walk, but we created some of that mess for him. He pitched well and got that big strikeout to get out of it. We did a nice job in the bullpen and added some runs late with that big hit from Zane.”
Rutgers, though, threatened again in the seventh, bringing the potential tying run to third base before freshman Josh Heddinger got Dan Perrine looking and fanned Brian O’Grady for the final out.
“He (Heddinger) continues to impress me and has made some big pitches and got out of a tough jam today,” said Hall.
Evans’ two-run triple was a part of a three-run bottom of the seventh, which allowed Tech to distance itself. Jake Davies pushed his hitting streak to seven games with a single to right field that scored Evans. For the series, the Yellow Jackets owned a 13-3 edge in seventh-inning runs.
A Dove single, followed by Palka’s booming triple to dead center opened the scoring for Tech in the second inning. Palka scored thanks to Mott Hyde’s sacrifice fly and the hosts made it 3-0 in the third when Dove drove in Brandon Thomas, who led off with a double.
Of Tech’s 12 hits, five went for extra bases.
Vinny Zarrillo and Patrick Kivlehan each had two of Rutgers’ five hits. Starter Rob Corsi allowed five runs on nine hits in 6.2 innings and recorded the loss (1-2).
Georgia Tech puts its five-game winning streak on the line Wednesday night at Georgia State. First pitch in Panthersville is set for 6 p.m.