March 30, 2007
ATLANTA – Luke Murton’s RBI single through the left side capped a two-run ninth-inning rally as Georgia Tech (17-11, 6-4 ACC) defeated Maryland (18-9, 5-5 ACC), 5-4, Friday night in the series opener at Russ Chandler Stadium.
After Maryland second baseman Steve Braun hit his first home run of the season to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the ninth inning, the Yellow Jackets responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to win their fourth-straight game.
Patrick Long reached base on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the ninth, moved to second on a single by Jeff Ussery and scored on an RBI single by Danny Payne to tie the game before Murton pulled the first pitch that he saw off Terrapin reliever Brett Cecil through the left side to plate Ussery, who scored from second on the play.
Brad Rulon (1-1) picked up his first win of the season by tossing 0.2 innings, striking out one. Yellow Jacket starter David Duncan lasted 8.1 innings, giving up four runs on 12 hits while striking out six, but did not figure into the decision for the second-straight weekend.
The Georgia Tech pitching staff has now held its opponent to less than five runs in seven-straight games, and nine of the last 10.
Payne, Long and Ussery all collected two hits on the evening for the Jackets.
A two-out double by Gerry Spessard scored Mike Murphy in the first inning to give the Terps a 1-0 lead, and Maryland added another run in the top of the second when Braun’s bunt single plated Dan Melvin, who had reached earlier on a fielder’s choice.
Tech answered with three runs in the bottom of the second to take a one-run lead, 3-2. Matt Wieters walked to lead off the inning, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Wally Crancer and scored on a double by Tony Plagman. Chris House’s bunt single moved Plagman to third, and the Yellow Jacket first baseman scored on a balk by Maryland starter Casey Baron. A single up the middle by Long moved House to third, and the Tech leftfielder came around to score on a single by Payne for the Jackets’ third run of the game.
Baron pitched well, but did not figure into the decision, giving up three runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings of work. Cecil (3-3) took the loss, allowing two runs on three hits in 1.0 IP.
The Terrapins tied the contest in the fourth inning when Braun pulled a double down the leftfield line to score Wink Nolan, who had reached earlier on an infield single.
The Jackets and Terps continue the series Saturday in a game that is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., which is a change from previously-printed schedules. Live video of the game will be available online at ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv), while fans may listen to the game live on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org). Live stats can be found at www.ramblinwreck.com.