March 12, 2010
ATLANTA – After nearly a four-hour delay, Deck McGuire pitched his first career complete game, holding Wake Forest to just three hits in No. 4 Georgia Tech’s (11-1, 1-0 ACC) 9-1 win over Wake Forest (6-9, 0-1 ACC) to open Atlantic Coast Conference play Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
“I’ve done a better job this year of keeping my pitch count down,” McGuire said. “I tried to keep the ball down and use all four of my pitches to keep them off balance. “Our defense played great out there tonight, and it was just one of those days where everything seemed to go right.”
On a night marred by cold weather and wet conditions, McGuire (3-0) put on a show, and reminded those in attendance why he was named the 2009 ACC Pitcher of the Year. The Richmond, Va. native struck out eight batters and allowed just one run on three Demon Deacon hits. McGuire retired 17 straight batters at one point, a stretch that lasted from the second to the eighth inning.
“I think the four-hour rain delay really loosened me up,” added McGuire when asked about the long wait to start the game. “I went into our weight room, put some head phones on, and read a book to stay focused.”
His complete game was also the first nine-inning effort since March 21, 2007, when Eddie Burns went the distance in a 3-0 win at Georgia State.
“He [Deck McGuire] was just in command of everything,” said head coach Danny Hall. “He had all of his pitches working, threw a lot of strikes. He begs me every time he goes out there if he gets to the eighth inning he wants to stay in and get the ninth. His pitch count (106) was such tonight that we wanted to run him back out there and let him finish it and he did.”
Also having a career day was junior Thomas Nichols, who’s three hits in three at-bats, including a sac fly RBI, led the Jackets at the plate on the evening. Nichols’ third single of the game came in the bottom of the eighth, and was the 14th hit of the day for the Jackets.
Originally scheduled for a 4 p.m. start, Friday’s game didn’t get started until 7:50 p.m. because of heavy rain in the Atlanta area. The Jackets weren’t affected by the wait however, as Tech went up 3-0 in the bottom of the first on RBI hits by juniors Derek Dietrich and Chase Burnette, surrounding a sac fly RBI from sophomore Matt Skole.
Tech scored in the bottom of the first inning for the fifth time in its last six games.
The Jackets would score three more runs in the bottom of the third, followed by another in the fourth before Wake Forest starter Michael Dimock (1-2) was pulled. The Demon Deacon right-hander was tagged for a season high in hits (11) and runs (7).
Tech closed out the scoring with two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. Junior centerfielder Jeff Rowland singled home senior Jay Dantzler from second, before a fielder’s choice grounder to short by Dietrich scored Nichols to make it 9-1.
The win was the Yellow Jackets’ 22nd in Atlantic Coast Conference openers and marked the 13th time under 17th-year head coach Danny Hall that Georgia Tech took home a victory in its first conference game of the season.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m., as junior Brandon Cumpton (3-0) takes the mound for Tech.