Feb. 20, 2011
ATLANTA – David Starn held No. 19 Georgia Tech (2-1) to one run through seven innings to help Kent State (1-2) avoid a sweep by the Yellow Jackets with a 6-1 win Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Georgia Tech jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a RBI single to right field by junior Matt Skole, but that was all that Starn would allow as he held the Jackets to just two hits over the next six innings of work.
The junior left-hander had six strikeouts and issued just two walks in the win.
“Starn did a really good job today,” head coach Danny Hall said. “He is a veteran pitcher with three pitches, and we didn’t really make any adjustments on him. To his credit, he really kept us off balance.”
After combing for 25 hits in the first two games of the series, Georgia Tech was held to just five on Sunday. Junior Jacob Esch had two of them, including his fourth double of the young season.
Despite the stall on offense, the Jackets still carried a 1-0 lead deep into the sixth inning.
Kent State, however, would take advantage of a costly error by Georgia Tech shortstop Mott Hyde with two outs to claim its first lead of the series.
With a runner on first base, Golden Flashes pinch-hitter Cody Koch sent a grounder to Hyde at shortstop that appeared to be a routine flip to second for the out. Hyde mishandled scoop, keeping the inning alive.
After a walk on the next at-bat, Flashes second baseman Derek Toadvine sent a double down the left field line off of Tech reliever Taylor Wood to give Kent State a 2-1 lead.
Kent State’s Joe Koch singled through the left side right after to score two more, extending the lead to 4-1.
“The biggest thing [defensively] was the error in the middle infield,” Hall said. “If we make the flip on that routine play then they don’t score the four runs and it’s a tight game. But as the rule goes, if you make a two-out error it usually comes back to haunt you.”
Wood picked up the loss after allowing the four unearned runs on three hits in his relief of starter Buck Farmer.
The Flashes scored another an inning later on a squeeze bunt by catcher David Lyon that brought home Ben Klafczynski from third.
Klafczynski recorded his third hit of the game earlier in the inning to pace Kent State’s 11-hit day.
Tyler Shaw, the Flashes’ cleanup hitter, closed out the scoring with a solo home run to right field in the ninth. It was the first home run hit at Russ Chandler stadium in the series.
KSU’s Justin Gill and Andrew Chafin picked up where Starn left off, yielding just one hit in the final two frames to close out the game.
Georgia Tech will make a quick turnaround with two midweek games at Georgia Southern. The two teams will play Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 4 p.m.