March 23, 2007
DURHAM, NC – Danny Payne hit a solo home run to lead off the top of the ninth inning to tie the game before back-to-back doubles by Michael Fisher and Matt Wieters helped Georgia Tech (13-10, 4-3 ACC) to a 3-2 win over Duke (17-8, 0-7 ACC) Friday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field on the campus of Duke University.
Leading off the top of the ninth inning, Payne worked the count full against Duke reliever Jonathan Anderson before sending his second home run of the season over the right-center field wall to pull the game even at 2-2. Fisher followed with his 10th double of the season, and second of the game, before scoring the go-ahead run on a double by Wieters
Payne and Fisher accounted for six of the Yellow Jackets’ eight hits in the game, as Payne went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs, a double and a walk to go along with his home run while Fisher was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a run and an RBI in the contest.
Wieters went 1-for-2 with an RBI, two walks and an HBP in the series opener.
Jared Hyatt (3-0) picked up the win by throwing a perfect eighth inning, while Payne tossed a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Tech starter David Duncan threw seven strong innings, giving up just two runs, only one of which was earned, on eight hits while striking out eight, but did not figure into the decision.
Payne and Fisher hit back-to-back doubles to lead off the game, giving Georgia Tech the 1-0 edge in the first inning. The hit by Fisher plated Payne, who has scored at least one run in 11 of the last 12 games.
The Blue Devils snapped Duncan’s scoreless innings streak at 14 when they tied the game with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. With runners on first and second, Jimmy Gallagher hit a ground ball to first base, but Duncan mishandled the flip from first baseman Tony Plagman, resulting in the runner scoring from second.
Back-to-back doubles by Gallagher and Nate Freiman gave Duke the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough as Tech scored two runs in the top of the ninth to earn its fourth ACC victory of the season.
Gallagher led the Blue Devils with three hits, including a double, while scoring a run. Anderson (2-1) took the loss, giving up the two runs on three hits in the ninth inning.
The Jackets and Blue Devils will continue the series Saturday at 2 p.m. Junior righty John Goodman (1-0) will take the mound for the Yellow Jackets, while Duke counters with right-handed senior Tony Bajoczky (3-2). The game can be heard on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org), and live stats can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com.