April 16, 2008
STATESBORO, Ga. – Brad Feltes, Derek Dietrich and Luke Murton all hit home runs to power No. 21 Georgia Tech (27-10) to a 14-8 win at Georgia Southern (18-17) Wednesday in the opening game of a five-game road swing for the Yellow Jackets.
Home runs accounted for 11 of the Yellow Jackets’ 14 runs in the game. A grand slam by Brad Feltes – his third of the season – gave the Yellow Jackets breathing room in the fifth inning after Tech took a 2-0 lead on a home run by Dietrich in the top of the first. Murton hit a solo homer in the seventh inning and blasted his first grand slam of the season in the eighth to account for his season-high five RBI in the game.
With the win, the Yellow Jackets improved to 9-0 on the season against in-state opponents. The victory was also Georgia Tech’s first of the year when Yellow Jacket pitchers have allowed six or more runs in a game.
Freshman Deck McGuire (6-0) picked up his team-leading sixth win of the year by limiting the Eagles to three runs, only two of which were earned, on eight hits through five innings. Kevin Jacob, Andrew Robinson, Taylor Wood, Brad Rulon and Chris Hicks all made scoreless outings in relief for the Jackets.
Following a one-out walk to Jeff Rowland, Dietrich lifted his team-leading 11th home run over the right field wall for his 35th and 36th RBI of the season to stake the Yellow Jackets to a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Rowland singled to lead off the fifth and stole second base before Dietrich reached on a catcher’s interference call. The two runners advanced to second and third on a fly out by Murton, prompting the Eagles to issue an intentional walk to lefty Tony Plagman, which loaded the bases for the right-hand hitting Feltes. The Yellow Jacket senior then smacked an 0-2 offering from reliever Charlie Strohecker over the left-center field wall for his eighth home run of the season, pushing the score to 6-0 in Tech’s favor.
The Eagles answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to pull within three of the Yellow Jackets, but Tech added six runs, five of which came off Murton’s two home runs, over the next three innings to push the score to 12-3.
After Georgia Southern rallied with five runs off Tech reliever Brandon Cumpton in the bottom of the eighth, Dietrich hit a two-run double in the top of the ninth to cap the scoring for the Yellow Jackets.
Murton and Charlie Blackmon led the Jackets with three hits apiece against the Eagles. Eight of the Jackets’ 15 hits in the game went for extra bases.
Eagle starter Michael Hester (1-1) suffered the first loss of his career, despite limiting the Jackets to just two runs on two hits in two innings of work. The freshman also hit two Yellow Jackets and walked another and had to work out of jams in the first and second innings before being lifted.
The Yellow Jackets continue their five-game road swing this weekend when they travel to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins in a three-game Atlanta Coast Conference series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. The two teams will play at 4 p.m. Saturday before wrapping up the series Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. game that will be televised on CSTV.