ATHENS, Ga. (March 14) – An RBI single by second baseman Richard Lewis in the top of the 11th inning proved to be the game-winning hit on Tuesday afternoon (3/14) as No. 24 Georgia Tech downed No. 22 Georgia 8-5 in 11 innings.
Sophomore center fielder Wes Rynders reached on a throwing error by Georgia shortstop Jeff Keppinger to start the Jackets’ half of the 11th to start the Tech rally. After a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Parker, a single by Victor Menocal left runners at first and third with one out for Lewis. Lewis’ single to right field was followed by RBI singles by Bryan Prince and Derik Goffena, giving Tech an 8-5 lead.
In his third inning of work, right-hander Andy Mitchell (2-0) held down the Bulldogs in the bottom of the eleventh, giving the Jackets their first win in three tries against Georgia this season.
Georgia got on the board first, with a two-run double by center fielder Brian Rainwater in the second off of Tech starter Ben Sheeter.
The Jackets knotted the score at 2-2 in the top of the third on RBI groundouts by Mark Teixeira and Prince, and built a 4-2 lead in the fifth courtesy of an RBI single by Teixeira and RBI double by Prince.
Sheeter had the Bulldogs under control until the seventh, in which an RBI double by Josh Hudson closed the margin to 4-3. Georgia’s greatest threat came in the bottom of the eighth, as after Keppinger walked and Josh Dorminy doubled to lead off the inning, an RBI groundout by Mark Thornhill tied the score at 4-4, and left the go-ahead run at third with one out. Tech left fielder Jason Basil came up with a pair of diving catches to end the inning and preserve the 4-4 tie.
Mitchell replaced Sheeter after eight, marking the longest stint of the senior southpaw’s career.
Tech took a 5-4 lead in the top of the tenth off of Georgia reliever Jeffery Carswell (1-1) courtesy of a sacrifice fly by Basil. Georgia matched Tech’s run with one of their own in the bottom half on a two-out single by Hudson. After Mitchell escaped the tenth with two runners left on, the stage was set for the Jackets’ three-run eleventh.
Carswell took the loss, after facing just one batter, Rynders, in the top of the eleventh. He allowed just one earned run and two hits in five innings of relief of starter Bill Sharpton.
Offensively for Tech, Richard Lewis, Bryan Prince, Derik Goffena and Victor Menocal each tallied three hits to lead the way.
Georgia Tech returns to action tomorrow night in a 7 p.m. contest against Liberty at Russ Chandler Stadium.