March 13, 2012
ATLANTA – Sophomore Zane Evans was 3-for-3 and No. 20 Georgia Tech hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning in a 15-4 rout of Wagner on Tuesday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. The victory was the 999th in the 25-year career of head coach Danny Hall.
Evans drove in two runs and scored three times, while Mott Hyde, Paul Kronenfeld, Sam Dove, Jake Davies and Kyle Wren each had two of Tech’s 17 hits. Kronenfeld and Davies each had three RBI. The Yellow Jackets (12-5) used eight different pitchers and 20 position players in the game.
“Just about everybody got to play, so that was good,” said Hall, who looks to become the 47th Division-I baseball coach all-time to achieve the 1,000-win milestone. “We just wanted to get the ship headed in the right direction after we lost our last two at NC State. I felt like our preparation before the game was business-like and we came out and swung the bats in the first inning.”
Sophomore RHP Matthew Grimes, who missed his scheduled start Saturday at NC State, fired an efficient 10-pitch first inning, setting the Seahawks (3-10) down in order and was credited with the victory on a pre-determined staff day.
“I thought he looked great and thought the ball came out of his hand good. Matt said he felt fine and that was really encouraging to me that he had no problems,” said Hall.
The Yellow Jackets jumped on the Seahawks early and often and Davies got the scoring started with a three-run missile over the right-field wall that scored Wren, who led off the game with a bunt single, and Evans, who reached on a two-out walk. Dove launched a solo shot to dead center field in the next at-bat, and Kronenfeld followed suit with a bomb to right-center.
It marked the first time Tech players hit three consecutive home runs since March 27, 2010 when Derek Dietrich, Tony Plagman and Cole Leonida did it in the first inning at North Carolina, en route to a 13-5 win.
Wagner got two runs back in the top of the second, and threatened again in the third and fourth innings, but got nothing more off the Tech bullpen.
The Yellow Jackets increased the lead to 10-2 with a five-run, five-hit onslaught in the fourth. Following a 55-minute rain delay after the top of the fifth, the offense went right back to work with five more runs on four hits.
Wagner starter Max Schmardel was hung the loss, working 1.1 innings and allowing five runs on five hits. Hayden Hunter was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI for the Seahawks, who were coming off three straight wins at Jacksonville last weekend.
Georgia Tech remains home this weekend to host Virginia Tech in ACC action at Russ Chandler Stadium. Friday’s series opener is set for 6 p.m. All three games of the series can be seen live on ESPN3.