Feb. 20, 2010
ATLANTA – Senior Tony Plagman went 4-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI to lead the sixth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team to a commanding 20-3 win over Missouri State on Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. The win for the Jackets also earned head coach Danny Hall the 900th victory of his career.
With the win, Tech moves to 2-0 on the year, while Missouri State falls to 0-2. The Jackets combined for 19 hits on the day, eight going for extra bases.
“I thought our guys really had great at-bats today and make good adjustments on the lefty [Mike Kickham] for Missouri State,” Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall said. “Every time we went out there after we saw him a little bit, we made good adjustments and performed at the plate.”
Tech got on the board in the bottom half of the first when Plagman smashed his first home run of the day off a 1-1 pitch from Missouri State starter Mike Kickham. The blast scored junior Jay Danzler, who reached base earlier in the inning on a walk.
Missouri State cut the lead to 2-1 in the first half of the second on a Tyler Paxson RBI double, but the Yellow Jackets answered in the bottom half of the inning with three runs of their own. Jeff Rowland had a two-RBI triple down the right field line, then scored on a wild pitch (all with two outs) to make it 5-1 Tech.
Missouri State added a run in the top of the third to make it 5-2. In the bottom of the third, Rowland hit his second home run of the game, a solo towering shot over the right center field fence to make it 6-2.
After a scoreless fourth inning by Missouri State, Georgia Tech exploded for nine runs (all with two outs) in the bottom half of the fourth to make the score 15-2.
In all, eight Georgia Tech batters recorded RBI hits in the inning. First, Plagman, sophomore Matt Skole, junior Derek Dietrich and sophomore Jacob Esch recorded consecutive RBI singles to make the score 10-2. Next, the Jackets recorded three-straight RBI doubles, as junior Chase Burnette laced a two-RBI double, junior Cole Leonida had an RBI two-bagger, and pinch-hitter Jake Davies had another single RBI double.
The final blow of the inning came from Rowland, who roped a triple to left center that scored Davies. It was Rowland second triple of the contest, which marked the first time since 2007 that a Tech player recorded two triples in a game. Rowland becomes the 18th player in Georgia Tech history to do so.
Tech added more insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth, as Burnette hit a three-run homer to left, making the score 18-2 in Tech’s favor. Tech added two more runs in the bottom half of the sixth, as freshmen Sam Dove and Brandon Thomas scored in the inning. Missouri State would add a single run in the top of the ninth to complete the final tally.
Plagman was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day, with two home runs and four RBI. His home runs came on consecutive at-bats, giving him 37 for his career, and tying for 11th on the all-time list at Georgia Tech.
“He [Tony] is a senior leader, veteran, has seen a lot of players and he is a great competitor,” Hall added. “He swung the bat so well in the fall and continues to here as we start the season.”
The loss goes to Missouri State’s Mike Kickham (0-1), who exited the game after allowing six runs on six hits through three innings.
Starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton picked up the win for Tech, allowing two runs on seven hits in five innings pitched. The junior from Evans, Ga. had two strikeouts on the day.
The Tech bullpen was top-notch for the second straight day. Freshmen Luke Bard and Ben McKinney, along with junior Zach Brewster and redshirt senior San Devine combined to allow just one run on two hits with six strikeouts in the final four frames.
The Jackets and the Bears will conclude the series Sunday at 1 p.m., as sophomore left-hander Jed Bradley takes the mound for Tech.