Feb. 22, 2014
THE FLATS – Matt Gonzalez had three of Georgia Tech’s 13 hits and Cole Pitts pitched five strong innings on the mound as the Yellow Jackets blanked UNC Greensboro, 7-0, Saturday afternoon to clinch the weekend series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Jackets broke a 1-0 game open with a six-run eighth inning and picked up their second straight win to improve to 3-3. The Spartans, who committed four errors in Saturday’s game that led to six unearned runs, slipped to 1-3.
Daniel Spingola, who was 2-for-4, led off the sixth inning with a single to center field and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. A Gonzalez hit to left moved Spingola to third and freshman Brandon Gold cashed in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly to right.
Pitts had turned the scoreless game over to this bullpen in the sixth, and senior Dusty Isaacs worked three innings of scoreless relief to earn his second victory (2-0). Pitts allowed three hits and one walk with six strikeouts over his second consecutive strong start – he’s yielded just one run in 10 innings this season.
“Pitts was outstanding today,” said head coach Danny Hall. “He threw the ball really well, but got his pitch count up a bit, but Dusty got us out of outs and Tanner Shelton threw the ball well in the ninth inning.”
In addition to his three hits, Gonzalez was also a factor defensively in the eighth as he came up throwing and gunned down Nin Marrero at second base, who was trying to stretch a single into a double. It was his second outfield assist of the week after throwing out a runner at the plate Wednesday at Georgia Southern.
“That was a big play from him because it was only a one-run game at that point,” said Hall. “He looks very comfortable playing in left and he’s also swinging the bat well for us.”
Thomas Smith and Gonzalez had back-to-back singles to lead off the eighth inning, and both moved to scoring position on a wild pitch. Then it all came unraveled for the Spartans as three errors over the next three hitters led to four unearned runs.
UNCG starter Max Povse allowed a run on nine hits over six innings and was hung the loss (0-1). The Spartans were held to four hits, with just one coming after the fifth inning.
Of Tech’s 13 hits in Saturday’s game, which were all singles, nine came from players that are either freshmen or sophomores. Gonzalez (sophomore) had three, while rookies Peurifoy and Elliott Barzilli each had two. Freshmen Gold and Connor Justus had one apiece.
The shutout was the Yellow Jackets’ first since blanking Vanderbilt, 5-0, in last season’s NCAA Nashville Regional.
Tech goes for the series sweep Sunday at 1 p.m. with junior Josh Heddinger on the mound.