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Jackets Use Long Ball To Topple Texas Tech, 9-3, at NCAA Atlanta Regional

June 5, 2004

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ATLANTA Micah Owings (9-2) shined on the mound and at the plate to lead top-seeded Georgia Tech (43-19) over second-seeded Texas Tech (39-20), 9-3, at the Atlanta Regional on Saturday afternoon in Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets’ Whit Robbins, Steven Blackwood and Mike Nickeas each homered for Tech.

The Jackets advance to the championship game on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. The Yellow Jackets are the only undefeated team left in the regional and will have to lose twice on Sunday to not win the regional and advance to the Super Regionals.

Owings threw eight innings, allowing eight hits, three runs, two earned runs, fanned nine and walked just one. He finished 2-for-5 at the plate, with one run scored. Nickeas and Robbins each went 2-for-4, driving in two and three runs, respectively. Eric Patterson finished 3-for-5 and had one run scored in the ballgame.

Robbins gave Tech an early lead in the bottom of the second inning with a three-run home run, his second of the season, to right field to bring in Owings and Clifton Remole as the Rambling Wreck led 3-0.

Jose Delgado drove in the game’s first run for the Red Raiders in the top of the third inning with a base hit to right-center field and Texas Tech had runners at the corners with one out. Cameron Blair hit a fly ball to center field for the second out and Tech center fielder Brandon Boggs threw a strike to home plate to nail Cooper Fouts for the final out of the inning as the Yellow Jackets led 3-1.

TTU’s Josh Brady drove a ball to the right field wall with a runner on base in the fourth inning, but Tech right fielder Remole jumped in the air and snatched it as he collided with the wall and held on to keep the Red Raiders off the scoreboard in the inning.

Blackwood unloaded on a fastball over the right field wall for his fourth home run of the season, scoring Patterson who led off the inning with a base hit to left field, as Tech extended its lead to four runs in the fifth inning, 5-1.

Blair and Josh Haney both tallied doubles in the top of the sixth inning to add another run for Texas Tech as the Red Raiders continued to trail the Yellow Jackets, 5-2.

Back-to-Back singles by Mike Trapani and Patterson chased Texas Tech starter Steven Thomas from the game in favor of Adam Fry. With two runners on and two outs, Fry tallied a strikeout to end the inning and advance the game to the seventh inning.

The Red Raiders tallied an unearned run in the seventh inning on a wild throw to first base on an attempted double play by the Jackets as Tech led 5-3. Brady stole second base and Delgado drew a two-out walk to put runners at first and second. Brady and Delgado pulled off a double steal to give the Red Raiders two runners in scoring position, but Owings tallied his seventh strikeout of the game to end the top half of the seventh.

Nickeas increased the Yellow Jackets’ lead to four runs with a two-run home run, his seventh of the season, to left field to score Owings who earlier singled as Georgia Tech held a 7-3 lead after seven complete innings.

Boggs and Blackwood drove in Tyler Green and Trapani with a fielder’s choice and a base hit to extend the advantage to 9-3 in the bottom of the eighth inning. TTU’s Juan Razo entered the game on the mound and recorded the final out of the inning.

Right-handed pitcher Jordan Crews started the ninth inning for the Yellow Jackets on the mound. Crews tallied two strikeouts and a pop out, after surrendering two base hits, to close out the game.

Thomas (3-8) picked up the loss on the mound for the Red Raiders, pitching 5 2/3 innings, allowing 11 hits, five earned runs and struck out two. Madison Edwards led the Red Raider bats, going 3-for-4, with a run scored.

The fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets will await the winner of No. 2 seed Texas Tech and No. 3 seed Mississippi State on Sunday afternoon. The Red Raiders and Bulldogs will play tonight at 7 p.m.

Line Score                   R-H-E----------------------------------------TT      0-0-1-0-0-1-1-0-0     3-10-0GT      0-3-0-0-2-0-2-2-X    9-15-1----------------------------------------

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