Feb. 22, 2011
STATESBORO, Ga. -Jesse Piccolo scored on a two-out bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Georgia Southern (3-1) a 6-5 comeback win over No. 21 Georgia Tech (2-2) Tuesday at J.I. Clements Stadium in Statesboro, Ga.
Piccolo’s run was the second straight that the Eagles scored on a bases loaded walk in the ninth inning off of Tech closer Kevin Jacob, as GSU’s Steve Cochrane’s walk on the previous at-bat tied the game at 5-5.
Jacob (0-1), who had the Eagles down to their final out, was credited with the loss.
A fielding error Tech shortstop Mott Hyde, however, would put runners on second and third with no outs in the bottom frame for the Eagles to essentially setup the game-tying and game-winning runs. The Jackets intentionally walked Georgia Southern’s Eric Phillips, the Eagles’ top hitter, to load the bases.
“It looked like we were going to get out of it,” Hall added. We felt like [Eric] Phillips was their best hitter, and needed to put him on to make somebody else have to earn that game-winning hit, but unfortunately Kevin walked not only [Steve] Cochrane but he also walked [Victor] Roache.”
Georgia Southern’s Andy Moye (1-0) earned the win after scattering one run on two hits in 2.2 innings of relief. Moye started the game at third base before stepping on the mound with one out in the seventh.
The Jackets out-hit the Eagles 9-8, but left 15 runners on base, including the bases loaded in both the first and the third inning.
“We had so many chances to score early on and we didn’t execute,” head coach Danny Hall said. “So we really put ourselves in a position to where an error could beat us in the end.”
Thomas went 3-for-3 to lead the team while junior Jacob Esch extended his hit streak to 10 games with a 2-for-5 effort.
The Jackets broke a 2-2 tie in the fourth inning on a RBI groundout by freshman Zane Evans their first lead of the game.
Georgia Southern claimed its lead back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring one on a fielder’s choice RBI and another on a two-out single by Michael Burruss off of Tech starter Luke Bard.
Bard’s start went 3.2 innings after the Eagles scored four runs on six hits against the sophomore right-hander.
The Jackets would tie the game at 4-4 in the seventh inning when Moye’s wild pitch sailed to the backstop, giving Hyde enough time to scurry home from third.
Freshman pitcher Dusty Isaacs was solid in his relief of Bard, holding Georgia Southern to no runs and just one hit in 4.1 innings before giving way to Jacob in the ninth.
“I thought Isaacs was awesome,” said Hall of the freshman pitcher. “He put all zeros on the board and it was the longest outing of the year for him, so I was very encouraged by the way he through the ball. He really gave us a chance to hang in there and win.”
The series concludes Wednesday at 4 p.m. at J.I. Clements Stadium.