April 18, 2007
ATLANTA – Danny Payne’s two-run single keyed a four-run fourth inning, Luke Murton homered and six Georgia Tech pitchers combined to allow just six hits as the Yellow Jackets defeated Georgia, 8-2, before 2,461 fans Wednesday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Tech won for the 10th time in its last 13 games to improve to 23-14 on the season, while Georgia fell to 13-25. The two teams play twice more this year, beginning with the Children’s Healthcare Spring Classic for Kids on April 24 at Turner Field, followed by a May 9 game in Athens.
Leading 2-0, Tech broke the game open in the fourth inning. Tony Plagman led off with a single and then scored when Patrick Long’s single was misplayed by leftfielder Blake Cannady, allowing Plagman to score from second. Payne’s two-run single plated Long and Jeff Ussery, and then Payne scored on an error by second baseman Miles Starr, who allowed a ground ball off the bat of Matt Wieters’ to go underneath his glove and into right center field.
On a designated staff day, the Tech pitching staff struck out five and walked just two. Freshman Andrew Robinson (1-0) earned the victory, his first of the season, with three scoreless innings, in which he allowed just one hit and struck out two. Starter Ryan Turner, who did not figure in the decision, blanked the Bulldogs for the first two innings after missing his scheduled start when last Sunday’s game at Virginia was rained out. Jared Hyatt added 1-2/3 scoreless innings before Elliott Ogawa and Chris Hicks finished the game.
“I saw a lot here tonight,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall. “To see Andrew Robinson go out and handle things the way he did was excellent, and I was very excited about the way Chris Hicks threw the ball late in the game. There’s a lot of good things that come out of this.
“Andrew was hurt most of last summer and fall, so he’s probably just now hitting his stride. He’s picking it up and giving us some quality innings.”
Freshman Alex McCree (2-3) started and took the loss for the Bulldogs as he allowed two runs on four hits in two-plus innings. Georgia used seven pitchers on the night.
Trailing 6-0, Georgia got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning. Starr doubled to lead off the inning, and then Ryan Peisel took the first pitch from Michael Hutts and belted his second home run of the season over the left centerfield wall, pulling the Bulldogs within 6-2. After a walk, Hyatt relieved Hutts and retired the next three batters to end the threat.
The Jackets answered with two runs in the eighth, highlighted by Murton’s sixth home run of the season to lead off the inning. Plagman then walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Long’s RBI single, pushing the Tech lead to 8-2. Long was 3-for-4 on the night
Tech broke on top with a pair of runs in the third inning. After a leadoff walk by Ussery and then a single up the middle by Payne, Fisher singled home Ussery. That chased McCree, and Steve Esmonde yielded a sacrifice fly to Wieters that gave the Jackets a 2-0 lead.
Prior to the game, the two teams observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the Virginia Tech tragedy.
Tonight’s game is being televised on SportSouth on a tape delayed basis, beginning at 10 p.m. or immediately following the Atlanta Thrashers’ hockey game.
Tech hosts NC State in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium with games scheduled for Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.