May 31, 2002
ATLANTA – Kyle Bakker tossed his second career complete game and first career shutout Friday night, allowing just three hits to lift Georgia Tech over Coastal Carolina, 6-0, in the first round of the NCAA Atlanta Regional baseball tournament at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The top-seeded Yellow Jackets (47-14) advanced to a winner’s bracket game at 3 p.m. Saturday against Georgia, which defeated Louisville, 7-1, on Friday. The Chanticleers (43-18) meet the Cardinals in an elimination game at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Bakker (11-2), who had won just once in six starts since Apr. 12, pitched no-hit ball for 5-2/3 innings before designated hitter Brent Grandstrand bunted past Bakker for a single with two out in the sixth. The Chanticleers also got a double from Adam Keim in the seventh and a single from Ryan McGraw in the ninth.
“I think [Bakker] just totally dominated and controlled the game,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall. “We were able to score four second-inning runs to give him some breathing room, but I think the story of the game is just how dominant he was for nine innings. The key stat we always look at is that he didn’t walk anybody, struck out eight and only gave up three hits. Anytime you do that, you’ve got a chance to win.”
The sophomore lefthander struck out eight and did not walk a batter, notching his second win over the Canticleers this season. He won 2-1 in February in a tournament in Myrtle Beach.
“The thing that helped me out was just the early run support,” said Bakker. “And when your defense makes plays like ours did tonight, it’s really tough to get hit hard. We’ve been working all week on getting my arm slot up, and tonight that’s all I was focusing on. I felt like I was in a groove. I felt good, especially after my team got four runs.”
Tech got all the runs it needed in the second inning, scoring four times behind a two-run double by Brandon Boggs, an RBI-double by Victor Menocal and a sacrifice fly by Jeremy Slayden. Slayden singled in another run for Tech in the fourth, then doubled and scored on a pair of balks in the seventh.
Justin Sturge (6-3) took the loss for Coastal Carolina, surrendering all six runs in six-plus innings. He gave up eight hits and two walks, with two strikeouts. Byron Binda finished up with two shutout innings.
Tech improved its NCAA Tournament record to 38-35 overall and 19-12 in nine seasons under Hall. The shutout was the first for Tech in NCAA Tournament play since Chuck Crowder blanked Arkansas, 2-0, in 1998. The two hits were the fewest the Jackets have allowed in an NCAA Tournament game since Jase Wrigley pitched a two-hitter over Southwest Louisiana.
“I guess we played about the same as last time,” said Coastal Carolina coach Gary Gilmore. “We did not do anything the first night and we did not do anything tonight. Until the sixth inning, we did not come close to having a baserunner.”