Feb. 11, 2005
ATLANTA – Ben Rulon, Brett Strickland and Romas Hicks combined on a four-hitter and Jean-Michel Ruchon-Salvas had three hits as Georgia State (1-0) upset No. 13 Georgia Tech (0-1) in the 2005 season opener for both schools on Friday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Rulon (1-0) started and worked five innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Strickland worked two scoreless innings and Hicks earned his first save of the year by working the final two innings of the game.
The Panthers won for just the sixth time in the 55-game series, and the victory snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets. Tech lost a home opener for the first time since 1986.
Georgia State took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a RBI single from Ruchon-Salvas, but Tech answered in the bottom of the inning with a solo home run from Wes Hodges that tied the score at 1-1.
The Yellow Jackets made the score 2-1 in the third inning when Danny Payne tripled and scored on Steven Blackwood’s RBI single. After the third inning, the Panthers scored four unanswered runs to take control of the game while the Georgia State pitching staff held Tech to one hit and three baserunners over the final six innings.
A sacrifice fly from Justin Newman tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth inning, and Ruchon-Salvas made the score 3-2 with a RBI single in the sixth. The Panthers added a pair of insurance runs when Chris Denter was hit by a pitch and scored in the seventh and Justin Newman scored on a passed ball in the ninth.
Tim Gustafson (0-1) took the loss in relief, allowing two runs on three hits in 1.1 innings.
Tech starter Jason Neighborgall was solid in his first outing of the season, working five innings and allowing one earned run on five hits. He issued two walks and struck out four while throwing 56 strikes in 83 total pitches.
Georgia Tech visits Georgia Southern for a two game series that begins on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Georgia State hosts Samford on Tuesday.