March 20, 2010
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – – Senior Jay Dantzler had a career-day at the plate, going 4-for-6 with two home runs and eight RBI, as the Georgia Tech baseball team (15-2, 4-1 ACC) pounded 20 hits in a 24-4 win over Maryland (8-10, 2-3 ACC) Saturday afternoon at Shipley Field in College Park, Md. With the win, the Jackets evened the series at one game apiece.
Georgia Tech scored double-digit runs for the seventh time this season. The 24 runs were a season-high for the Jackets, who scored 24 one year ago against the Terrapins in a 24-3 win on March 7, 2009.
The four hits, four runs, six at-bats, eight RBI and two home runs by Dantzler were all career-highs for the Alpharetta, Ga. native, as he led seven Jackets in the multiple hit department.
“I felt really good at the plate today,” Dantzler said. “I’ve been trying to find a balance between finding patience and getting out there and being aggressive, and I think today I found a really good balance for it.”
“I didn’t think we had very good approaches at the plate yesterday,” head coach Danny Hall said. “I wanted them today to have good approaches, and for [Brandon] Cumpton to pound the strike-zone with his fastball. I feel we really responded and adjusted well.”
The team has now scored double-digit runs in every Saturday game this year, and provided plenty of run support for junior right-hander Brandon Cumpton, who improved to 4-0 with the win.
Cumpton (4-0) held the Terrapins two four runs on seven hits, as he struck out two batters in 7.0 innings.
Maryland starter Adam Kolarek (1-1) pitched 3.1 innings, and gave up eight runs on eight hits, walking two, and striking out three in his first loss of the season. He came into the game having allowed just three runs in two previous starts (16.2 IP).
Down 2-0 in the second inning, the Jackets took the lead for the first time in the series after scoring four runs on four hits off Kolarek. Burnette ripped an RBI triple down the right field line, junior Jeff Rowland singled Burnette home two batters later, and Dantzler hit a 2-RBI double off the wall in left field for a 4-2 lead.
It was Dantzler’s first game in the leadoff spot, and the first time Rowland batted out of the leadoff spot since the 2008 season.
“I wanted to put a right-hander in against their lefty,” said Hall when asked about the switch. “I didn’t know how he was going to pitch against lefties, so I felt like Jay [Dantzler] was a better option. It’s important for that lead-off hitter to get in there and grind-out some bats, and I felt like Jay had a great day. But so did Jeff [Rowland]. He knocked in some runs early in the game, so it worked out well for both guys.”
Rowland went 2-for-3 with two RBI and five runs scored while batting eighth. He also drew three walks. The five runs scored were a feat he hadn’t reach while playing two and a half years as a leadoff hitter. His previous high was four against Georgia Southern in 2008.
Tech extended its lead to 8-3 in the top of the fourth, grabbing back-to-back home runs from Dantzler and Dietrich. Dantzler’s two run shot to left field was his fourth of the season, while Deitrich’s solo shot down the right field line was his third on the year, and second in as many games.
Kolarek was then lifted with one out in the fourth, as five relievers came in to finish the game for Maryland.
The Jackets went on to score nine more runs in the next two-innings, before Dantzler hit his second homer of the game in the top of the seventh to dead center. His three run shot game him his eight RBI’s, the most by a Tech player this season.
Tech closed out the scoring with four more runs in the eighth, highlighted by sophomore Jake Davies’ 2-RBI single.
The series concludes Sunday as Tech sophomore Jed Bradley (2-1) faces Maryland’s Sander Beck (0-2) at 1 p.m. at Shipley Field.