March 7, 2006
ATLANTA – Steven Blackwood’s seventh-inning two-run home run lifted top-ranked Georgia Tech (14-0) to a 2-1 win over visiting Northeastern (3-2) on Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 14 games, and Tech’s 14-0 start is the third best in school history.
Freshman Chris Hicks (3-0) earned the win in relief, working 1.1 perfect innings out of the bullpen. Tim Gustafson earned his team-leading fourth save of the year by pitching two shutout innings to close out the game.
Tech starter Ryan Turner pitched well but did not figure in the decision. The southpaw worked 5.2 innings and allowed one run on six hits while tying a season-high with six strikeouts.
Northeastern starter Adam Ottavino (0-1) handcuffed the Georgia Tech lineup all night and struck out 12 batters, but was the tough-luck loser. Ottavino, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, held the Yellow Jackets to two runs on just two hits in seven innings of work.
Georgia Tech’s two hits was its lowest since being held to one hit in a 2-1 victory over UNC Asheville on Feb. 18, 1992.
Ottavino held the Yellow Jackets hitless until Wieters led off the seventh inning with a single to right field. Blackwood staked the Yellow Jackets to a 2-0 lead when, after fouling off a bunt attempt earlier in the at bat, he belted his first home run of the season over the right field wall on a 1-2 pitch.
Turner and Ottavino engaged in a pitcher’s duel for the first half of the game. The Huskies had a scoring opportunity in the fourth inning when consecutive singles put runners on first and second bases with one out. Turner escaped the jam by inducing a double play ground ball to end the inning. In the fifth inning, Northeastern put two on with one out, but Turner struck out the next two batters.
The Yellow Jackets had a chance to get on the scoreboard in the second inning when Matt Wieters and Steven Blackwood drew walks with one out, but Ottavino struck out the next two Tech batters to end the inning. In the fifth inning, Blackwood drew a leadoff walk and stole second base, but Ottavino struck out the next three batters to end any scoring chance.
Northeastern broke through in the sixth inning to take a 1-0 lead. After Turner quickly retired the first two batters of the inning, Matt Morzino started the rally with a two-out single on a 0-2 pitch. Nick DiVito followed with a single, Brian Nutting drew a walk to load the bases, and James Donaldson forced in the first run of the game when he was hit in the foot by a first-pitch curveball. Tech reliever Chris Hicks escaped further damage when he retired the next batter on a fly out to end the inning.
Georgia Tech hosts Virginia for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. The series begins on Friday at 4 p.m. and continues on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. each day.