May 20, 2009
Postgame Press Conference
DURHAM, N.C. – Five doubles highlighted a seven-run sixth inning that lifted No. 16 Miami (36-18) to an 8-6 victory over No. 13 Georgia Tech (34-16-1) in the opening game of the 2009 ACC Baseball Championships.
The Yellow Jackets plated two runs in the sixth inning and added two more in the seventh to narrow the Hurricanes’ lead to two runs, but Miami turned to Kyle Bellamy in the eighth, and the closer picked up his 16th save of the season by holding the Jackets scoreless over the final two frames.
Tech stranded runners on base in every inning, including the ninth when Matt Skole and Thomas Nichols reached on leadoff walks. Bellamy then retired three-straight to end the threat. A total of 14 Yellow Jackets were left on base in the game.
The loss was the third-straight for the Yellow Jackets and the first for Tech starter Deck McGuire since May 15, 2008. The Yellow Jacket ace went 10-0 during the regular season en route to earning the program’s first ACC Pitcher of the Year honor, but suffered the loss after yielding all seven runs in the sixth inning.
“It wasn’t that we played bad,” head coach Danny Hall said. “We had one bad inning. You have to give Miami credit – they had one good inning against us, and it hurt. I thought that Deck was very good and in control of the game until that inning.
“We let them off the hook early (with chances to score more runs), and we were hoping that our hitters could give us some momentum to get us ahead. Late in the game we had some great at bats, but we were also trying to beat one of the best closers in the country.”
The Jackets jumped on Hurricane starter Travis Miller early, loading the bases with a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch with one out in the first inning. After striking out Jason Haniger for the second out of the frame, Miller walked Chase Burnette to plate Derek Dietrich before fanning Matt Skole to get out of the jam.
It was the only time Skole didn’t reach base in the game, as the freshman third baseman went 2-for-3 with two walks in his first tournament action.
Tech scored its second run with another bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the fourth inning. That free pass made the score 2-1 in the Jackets’ favor.
Miami tied the game in the top of the fourth when Jason Hagerty reached on a four-pitch walk from McGuire, but the Hurricanes didn’t record their first hit until the sixth inning, when they struck for seven runs on six hits against the Tech ace.
Miami recorded eight hits, five of which were doubles, in its seven-run sixth inning to take its first lead of the game at 8-2.
Tech went to its bullpen with two outs in the sixth inning, and the quintet of Andrew Robinson, Jake Davies, Patrick Long, Zach Brewster and Mark Pope combined to hold Miami to just three hits over the final 3-1/3 scoreless innings.
A two-out, two-run double by Tony Plagman narrowed the Hurricanes’ lead to 8-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning and Tech cut it to two runs in the seventh when Jeff Rowland smacked a two-out, two-run single up the middle to plate Burnette and Matt Skole.
Plagman went 3-for-5 with two RBI while Rowland also had three hits in the game.
Tech will continue tournament action Thursday when it meets Boston College at 12 noon. The game can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org) and will be available on FS South. Live stats for all Tech baseball games are available at Ramblinwreck.com.