Tech Baseball Pounds Xavier in Shutout Saturday

Feb. 27, 2010

Box Score

ATLANTA – Junior Brandon Cumpton pitched seven shutout innings of one-hit ball, and the third-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (7-0) erupted for a season-high five home runs in a 15-0 win over Xavier (0-5) Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.

“I really liked the way we responded today,” head coach Danny Hall said. “I think our team knew we didn’t play as well as we can yesterday, and I thought our response today was great.”

Cumpton (2-0) picked up the win after a solid start on the mound, allowing just one hit while striking out four. The Tech pitching staff combined for its fourth shutout of the season, one more than the Jackets had for the entire 2009 season.

“Obviously it started with [Brandon] Cumpton,” Hall added. “He threw the ball really well and only gave up one hit. Then the two guys that followed him pitched well. We had contributions from a lot of guys offensively as well.”

Senior Jason Garofalo, juniors Derek Dietrich and Jeff Rowland, and sophomores Jacob Esch and Matt Skole all went deep in the outing.

Tech’s biggest inning of the season came in the bottom of the sixth, as the Jackets exploded for 10 runs on six-hits, including two home runs. All nine Tech batters crossed the plate in an inning that tied for the fifth largest run total in school history.

The Jackets jumped out to an early lead in the bottom of the first innings. With two outs, senior Tony Plagman singled through the right side before advancing to second on a wild pitch by Xavier starter Tommie Shirley. Just two pitches later, Burnette singled through the same side to score Plagman.

Tech tacked on two more in the next inning, on Garofalo’s two-run home to right-center. Garofalo brought in junior Cole Leonida, who led off the inning with an infield single to third.

Skole blasted a solo home run into the streets beyond the wall in right field, giving Tech a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third. The Tech third baseman was 3-for-4 on the day.

Cumpton continued to hold the Musketeer batters in check, not allowing a single hit through four innings pitched. The Evans, Ga. native gave up his first base hit on a leadoff double in the top of the fifth.

Rowland made it 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth, sending a 1-0 offering to right field, his second of the season.

The Jackets vaulted their 10 run attack an inning later, highlighted by two-run homers by both Dietrich and Esch; the first of his career. The sophomore second baseman batted 3-for-4 with four RBI on the afternoon.

“Jacob [Esch] is a good player and is playing real well. I thought he made a couple of real nice plays defensively today. I’m happy for him; he had to sit and watch a lot last year and is getting a chance to play now and is taking advantage of it.”

That would be it for Shirley (0-2), who picked up the loss after allowing 10 runs on 12 hits in 5.0 innings.

The Jackets pounded out 15 hits against the entire Xavier pitching staff Saturday.

Freshman right-hander Luke Bard kept Xavier to one-hit through eight innings. Bard has yet to allow a hit in 5.0 innings of relief.

Freshman Clay Dalton made his career-debut in the ninth, allowing just one hit while preserving the shutout. The series concludes Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest at Russ Chandler Stadium. ACC Pitcher of the Week Jed Bradley takes he mound against Xavier lefty Jon Richard.

Fans can listen live through WREK HD-2 radio or online at www.RamblinWreck.com.

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