March 19, 2006
RALEIGH, N.C. – Wes Hodges hit two home runs to lead a five home run attack as No. 1 Georgia Tech (18-3, 3-3 ACC) defeated No. 19 NC State (21-5, 5-1), 17-11, on Sunday afternoon at Doak Field. The Yellow Jackets scored 11 runs in the eighth and ninth innings to rally from an 8-4 deficit.
Georgia Tech hit five home runs in the win, including two from Wes Hodges, his third and fourth of the year. Whit Robbins hit his team-leading fifth home run, Danny Payne hit his fourth of the year, and Steven Blackwood added his second home run of the season.
Tech reliever Jared Hyatt (1-0) earned the win, working 3.2 innings and allowing two runs on four hits while striking out five.
Payne, who also serves as Tech’s center fielder, earned his first save of the season by recording the final five outs of the game.
Hodges finished 4-for-6 with two home runs and two doubles, and drove in four runs. Blackwood added four hits, and Robbins drove in four runs. Tech outhit NC State, 18-11.
NC State reliever Joel Brookens (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs in two innings. The two teams combined to use 12 pitchers and issued a total of 20 walks in the game.
Trailing 8-6 after seven innings, the Yellow Jackets erupted for six runs in the eighth to take a 12-8 lead. Tech sent 11 batters to the plate and had four hits, including a two-run homer from Payne. Mike Trapani and Wally Crancer each had two-run singles, and Tech was aided by four walks from Wolfpack pitchers in the inning.
NC State answered with three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull within 12-11. Matt Mangini had a two-run single and Caleb Mangum added a sacrifice fly before the Wolfpack loaded the bases with two outs. But Danny Payne, pitching in relief, struck out Aaron Bates to end the inning and preserve Tech’s one-run lead.
The Yellow Jackets batted around and added five insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning to extend the lead to 17-11. Hodges had a two-run double, Whit Robbins added a RBI double, and Jeff Kindel and Chris House added RBI singles as Tech sent 21 batters to the plate over the final two innings.
Hodges gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with a solo home run.
NC State answered with four runs in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead. The Wolfpack batted around and Caleb Mangum, Ramon Carona and Jonathan Diaz each had RBI singles, while Matt Mangini added a RBI groundout.
Tech tied the game at 4-4 in the third inning on a three-run homer from Robbins. Hodges led off the inning with a double and Jeff Kindel drew a walk before Robbins hit his shot over the scoreboard in left-center field.
The Wolfpack made the score 8-4 with four runs in the fourth inning. Ryan Pond had a two-run double, Jon Still added a RBI single and Brian Aragon had a RBI groundout.
Hodges pulled the Yellow Jackets to within 8-5 in the fifth inning with his second home run of the game. A solo home run from Blackwood made the score 8-6 in the sixth inning.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. NC State’s Gib Hobson went 4.1 innings and allowed five runs, while Tech’s David Duncan (2-1) was charged with eight runs in 3.2 innings.
Georgia Tech returns to action next weekend when the Yellow Jackets host North Carolina for a three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium. Gametimes are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1 p.m. on Sunday.