May 17, 2002
ATLANTA – Kyle Bakker worked eight effective innings and Jeremy Slayden hit his team-leading 16th home run to lead eighth-ranked Georgia Tech (43-11, 13-8 ACC) to a 7-4 win over sixth-ranked North Carolina (38-16, 16-6) on Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium in the opener of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series.
Bakker (10-2) earned his first win in over a month, scattering 11 hits over eight innings and allowing just two runs. He issued one walk and struck out four batters in picking up a win for the first time since Apr. 12 at Maryland.
Slayden homered for the 16th time this season with a two-run shot in the fifth inning. The rookie outfielder tied the Georgia Tech record for most home runs by a freshman which was originally set by Frank Bolick in 1986.
The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning after Eric Patterson led off the frame with a single, took second base on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a wild throw from UNC catcher Chris Iannetta, and scored on another wild pitch. Jason Perry had a two-out RBI double and Tyler Parker added a RBI single in the inning.
After the Tar Heels cut the lead to 3-1 in the top of the fifth on a solo home run from Ron Braun, his 11th of the year, the Yellow Jackets responded with two runs in the bottom of that inning on Slayden’s two-run shot.
North Carolina added a run in the top of the seventh on Adam Greenberg’s RBI single to make the score 5-2. The Tar Heels had a chance to do more damage in the inning after loading the bases with no outs, but the Yellow Jackets turned a 9-2-6 double play after Sean Farrell flew out to Slayden and then Greenberg was picked off second base. Bakker induced a pop-fly from Chris Maples to end the threat.
Tech added two runs in the eighth to extend the lead to 7-2 with a RBI double from Patterson and a RBI single from Matt Murton. The Tar Heels scored two unearned runs in the ninth inning and brought the tying run to the plate with two outs, but Tech reliever Jeff Watchko got Jeremy Cleveland to ground out to end the game.
Slayden, Patterson, Murton and Victor Menocal each had two hits for the Yellow Jackets in the win, while UNC’s Greenberg and Russ Adams each had three hits in the loss.
North Carolina starter Scott Autrey (4-3) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and four walks in four innings of work.
Georgia Tech and North Carolina will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 1 p.m. in a game that will be televised live on the ACC Regional Network (Fox Sports Net South, Sunshine, and Comcast Sports Net). Sunday’s series finale will begin at 1:30 p.m. The games will be carried live on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta) and on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com. Live scoring for the games will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.