March 1, 2008
ATLANTA – Charlie Blackmon tripled home the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning and then made a diving catch to end the game to lead No. 22 Georgia Tech (6-1) to a 4-3 win over Rutgers (2-2) Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Blackmon, who went 3-for-4 with a single, triple, and home run, drove in three of the Yellow Jackets’ four runs while making his second start in right field.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Yellow Jacket shortstop Derek Dietrich singled up the middle and came around to score on Blackmon’s triple to break a 3-3 tie.
Andrew Robinson (1-0), pitching in his third inning of relief, gave up a two-out single in the top of the ninth inning to Victor Cegles, who moved to third on a throwing error by second baseman Jeff Ussery. Blackmon then made his game-saving catch on a liner off the bat of cleanup hitter Jon Gossard to end the game. Robinson picked up the win by holding Rutgers to one run on three hits while striking out three and walking none in three innings of work.
Tech starter Eddie Burns held Rutgers to two runs on five hits while tying a career record with 10 strikeouts in six innings of work, but he did not factor into the decision after the Scarlet Knights tied the game in the top of the seventh inning. Rutgers starter Casey Gaynor (0-1) picked up the loss despite a solid outing against the Yellow Jackets. He worked 7.1 strong innings, giving up all four runs on 10 hits while striking out nine in the game.
The Yellow Jackets took an early 1-0 lead in the game after Jeff Rowland doubled to lead off the bottom of the first inning and scored on a groundout by Blackmon. Rutgers responded in the top of the next inning when Jaren Matthews sent his second home run of the series over the right field wall.
Tech regained the lead in the fourth inning on Blackmon’s first career home run, a solo shot over the right field wall. The Scarlet Knights answered again in the fifth when Brett Garlick hit a leadoff single, stole second base, and scored on an RBI single by Tom Edwards.
Edwards led the Rutgers offense with three hits while driving in two on the day.
After Jason Haniger belted his first home run of the season over the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, Rutgers tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the seventh with another RBI single by Edwards.
The Jackets and Scarlet Knights will play the rubber game of the series Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m. and a live video broadcast of the game can be found on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv). Live stats for all Georgia Tech baseball games are available at Ramblinwreck.com.