March 29, 2005
ATLANTA – Nate Hall drove in three runs and Brian Barnes pitched four innings of hitless relief to lift Western Carolina (15-8) to an 8-5 win over No. 1 Georgia Tech (21-5) on Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Reliever Luke Miller (2-0) was credited with the win, working 1.1 scoreless innings. Barnes earned his first save of the year by working the final four innings and not allowing a run or a hit.
Hall finished 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBI. Tim Hallum had three hits and drove in two runs, and Barrett Shaft added two hits.
The Yellow Jackets built a 5-2 lead through the first five innings. Tech scored one in the second inning on a two-out RBI single from Whit Robbins, scored three runs in the third on a RBI double from Steven Blackwood and a sacrifice fly by Wes Hodges, and added an unearned run in the fourth.
Western Carolina scored four unearned runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-5 lead. With two outs and the bases loaded, Tech reliever Ryan Turner struck out Trey McDaniel, but a passed ball by catcher Matt Wieters allowed McDaniel to reach base and Shaft to come home with the first run of the inning. Hall cleared the bases with a three run triple that dropped just of the reach of a diving Jeremy Slayden in right field.
From there, the Catamount bullpen took over and held the ACC’s top hitting team in check. The Yellow Jackets, batting .356 at a team entering Tuesday’s game, were held hitless and managed just five baserunners from the fifth through the end of the game.
The Catamounts added two insurance runs in the top of the eighth to extend the lead to 8-5. Chris Davis led off the inning with a double and scored on Hallum’s one-out RBI single, while a RBI double from Jared Greenwood scored Hallum with the second run of the inning.
Tech had a final opportunity in the bottom of the ninth inning when Michael Fisher reached on an error and Tyler Greene walked to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. But Barnes induced a double play ground ball from Blackwood to end the game and preserve the victory.
Turner (2-1) took the loss after allowing six runs, only two of which were earned, on seven hits in four innings.
Tech starter Jason Neighborgall, getting live action after a tough outing last Friday at Miami instead of throwing between-start bullpen, worked a scoreless first inning and struck out the side.
Slayden had a second inning double to extend his career-long hitting streak to 15 games.
Georgia Tech hosts Maryland for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. The series begins on Friday at 7 p.m.