March 27, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Southern scored four times in the seventh inning and escaped Russ Chandler Stadium Tuesday night with a 5-3 win over No. 21 Georgia Tech in the first of a two-game midweek series on the Flats.
Brandon Thomas had two hits and Sam Dove extended his hitting streak to 16 games for the Yellow Jackets, who slipped to 15-10 overall. The Eagles improved to 12-13. The rubber game of the teams’ three-game season series is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Eric Phillips delivered the eventual winning blow for the visitors in the seventh, as the third baseman cleared the bases with a three-RBI double to the gap in left field that made the score 5-3. That came two batters after Ben Morgan’s RBI ground out pulled GSU within 3-2.
But Tech came right back in the bottom half as Thomas and Dove led off the frame with consecutive singles. A double steal moved the pair into scoring position, but three straight strikeouts quickly snuffed out the threat.
Seven of the final nine Jackets in the game were retired via a strikeout.
GSU’s late-game rally ruined a quality start by freshman righty Josh Heddinger, who gave the Jackets a career-long 6.2 innings, allowing six hits, three walks and a career-best seven strikeouts.
Heddinger, who turned a 3-2 lead over to the bullpen with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, watched from the dugout as Phillips’ three-run double was ripped to left. The rookie was hung the loss (1-2).
GSU reliever Jarrett Leverett worked 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing three hits, no walks and four strikeouts to pick up the victory (2-1). The Eagles’ Friday starter, Chris Beck, fired a scoreless ninth to lock up his first career save.
After the Eagles seized a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI single from Stryker Brown, Tech answered in the bottom of second with consecutive RBI singles from Mott Hyde and Paul Kronenfeld.
With Heddinger in control, the hosts added to their lead in the fifth with Daniel Palka’s RBI single.