April 12, 2011
ATLANTA – Freshman Matthew Grimes had a career-high 10 strikeouts to lead No. 9 Georgia Tech (25-9) to a 5-3 win over rival Georgia (18-16) on Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets have now won five straight over the Bulldogs and six of the last seven games in the rivalry. The series will conclude with the “Spring Baseball Classic for Kids”, held on April 26 at Turner Field.
Grimes (5-1) won his fifth game of the year after scattering two runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings. The Hoschton, Ga. native did not issue any walks, his second time to do so in a start this season.
“I felt great. It was the best I have ever felt,” said Grimes, who improved to 2-0 against Georgia this season. “I don’t know what it was, but it was coming out of my hand the right way. I threw strikes and didn’t walk anybody.
“I was just trying to make them put it in play. Our defense worked; we have a good defense.”
Tech had contributions throughout the batting order on Tuesday, as seven different players recorded a hit and all five of the teams’ runs were scored by a different player.
Georgia took the games first lead with two outs in the top of the second inning, on a solo home run to right field by third baseman Colby May off of Grimes. May was 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Bulldogs.
After allowing the home run, Grimes would go on to retire 12 of the next 16 batters, eight of them on strikeouts.
“He [Grimes] was in control, he pitched out of trouble when he had to and made his pitches,” head coach Danny Hall said. “You hope that this gives him a lot of confidence heading down the stretch. He has got a lot of talent and this was in my mind his best game of the year.”
The Jackets would get things going later in the third, as Dove, Mott Hyde and Thomas – the bottom of Tech’s order — all hit singles off of Georgia starter Chase Hawkins to load the bases. Freshman Kyle Wren brought in a run on a fielder’s choice to second base before junior Jacob Esch gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead on a single to left field.
Palka’s two-run homer to right field in the fourth inning extended the lead to 4-1.
Hawkins (1-2) was credited with the loss after allowing the four runs on seven hits over four innings.
The two teams would trade runs in the seventh inning, on RBI hits from Tech’s Skole and Georgia’s May, before Bulldog centerfielder Zach Cone homered to right field in the eighth to cut the lead to 5-3.
Sophomore pitcher Luke Bard would close out the ninth inning for his fifth save of the season.
Georgia Tech will return to action this weekend with a three-game road series at Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, N.C. First pitch is at 6 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.