March 19, 2011
ATLANTA – Matt Skole and Jake Davies keyed a six-run outburst with big hits in the third inning, and Jed Bradley pitched shutout ball for seven innings Saturday, leading 21st-ranked Georgia Tech past NC State, 12-0, in the middle game of a weekend Atlantic Coast Conference baseball series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets amassed 17 hits and won their 11th straight game with the series-clinching win and improved to 16-4 overall, 5-0 in conference play. The Wolfpack dropped their third straight ACC game and well to 10-9, 1-4. The series concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday.
“We hit well, we pitched well, and just had a good day all around,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Skole and Davies had big hits for us, and Wren and Esch continue to do what they do. Jed threw the ball well. He didn’t give them much to hit, and wasn’t in a lot of trouble.”
Bradley (3-0) didn’t allow a hit until the fourth inning and scattered five over seven innings of work. The junior lefthander from Huntsville, Ala., struck out five, walked two and allowed only one NC State runner to get as far as third base.
“I just tried to be aggressive, pound the strike zone and make them put the ball in play,” said Bradley. “NC State is very aggressive at the plate, and we knew they we’re going to swing early in the count, so we just wanted to match their aggressiveness.”
NC State starter Danny Healey (1-2) had retired five straight batters when Sam Dove singled to left and Kyle Wren got an infield single to put runners at first and second for the Yellow Jackets with one out in the third. Matt Skole ripped a 3-1 offering from Healey into left-center field for a double that cleared the bases and put the home team ahead, 3-0.
Healey’s fifth start of the year was short-lived. The sophomore from Cooper City, Fla., lasted just 3 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs on eight hits and three walks. Taking advantage of a leadoff walk to Mott Hyde, the Jackets hit him for three more runs in the fourth on RBI singles from Wren, Palka and Evans to chase him from the game.
Palka doubled in Skole for the Tech’s 10th run in the sixth. Hall used several players from his bench, bringing them in as pinch-hitters in the eighth inning. Five of them got hits to give the Jackets two more runs, including RBI hits from Chase Butler, and Alex Cruz.
Tech freshman center fielder Kyle Wren, the ACC’s leading hitter, scored twice and had three hits to improve his average to .476. He has seven hits in two games in the weekend series.