March 6, 2009
ATLANTA – Deck McGuire held the Terrapins scoreless through 6.2 innings, and Jay Dantzler powered the offense with a two-run home run to help No. 9 Georgia Tech (7-1, 1-0 ACC) to a 5-1 victory over Maryland (4-5, 0-1 ACC) Friday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The win was the Yellow Jackets’ 21st in Atlantic Coast Conference openers and marked the 12th time under 16th-year head coach Danny Hall that Georgia Tech took home a victory in its first conference game of the season.
“Jay has really been swinging a hot bat of late,” Hall said. “He’s always had power, and has waited his turn (to show it) so it’s been great to see what he’s been able to do.”
Patrick Long plated Tony Plagman with an infield single in the second inning for the Yellow Jackets’ first run of the game after the Yellow Jacket first baseman tripled with two outs and nobody on. Plagman’s hit, which came after Maryland starter Scott Swinson struck out the first two batters of the frame, was inches shy of going over the fence, but bounced off the top of the left field wall and back into play.
Swinson (1-2) suffered his second loss of the season by giving up five runs on eight hits.
McGuire improved to 3-0 on the year with another stellar performance on the mound. The sophomore righty yielded no runs on five hits while striking out eight. He has given up just one run through 21.2 innings has a team-best 0.42 ERA this season.
McGuire worked out of a jam with runners on the corners in the second by striking out Dan Benick to end the inning. He then retired the next 11 batters in order before giving up an infield single in the sixth inning.
Hall lifted McGuire in the seventh after the Terrapins loaded the bases with two outs, but Zach Brewster forced Curtis Lazar into a ground out, ending the threat. Brewster worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning before giving way to freshman Jacob Esch in the ninth.
The Terps loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but Tech turned to closer Mark Pope to finish the game. Pope forced Gerry Spessard into a 4-6-3 double play, and Benick followed with a weak grounder back to Pope for the third out of the game. The save was Pope’s third in his last three appearances, and the Yellow Jacket closer hasn’t allowed a hit since Feb. 22 against Lipscomb.
Tech and Maryland continue the ACC series Saturday at 2 p.m., with Zach Von Tersch (2-0, 5.73 ERA) taking the mound for the Yellow Jackets while the Terrapins counter with right hander Ian Schwalenberg (0-1, 4.50). The game can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), and live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.