ATLANTA – Third baseman Victor Menocal went 4-for-5 and catcher Bryan Prince drove in three runs as No. 4 Georgia Tech (15-5) defeated Kent State (3-7) on Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Tech starter Steve Kelly (3-0) picked up the victory after allowing four runs on 10 hits in 6.2 innings of work. He struck out eight batters and did not issue a walk. Reliever Andy Mitchell earned his first save of the season by recording the final two outs of the game.
Kent State starter Jason Biniker (1-2) took the loss, allowing five runs in five innings.
The Yellow Jackets took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. Jason Basil walked and Jason Perry was hit by a pitch to open the inning. Basil took third base on a flyout and then scored on Matt Murton’s RBI single. Perry, who advanced to third on a single from Wes Rynders, scored when Kent State left fielder Eric O’Brien overran the ball. A RBI single from Menocal drove in Murton with the final run of the inning.
Tech made the score 4-0 in the third inning when Prince singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Jon Henry Kail. Menocal led off the fourth inning and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Prince to make the score 5-0.
The Golden Flashes mounted a comeback in the sixth inning with four runs to close the margin to 5-4. Chris Detweiler and O’Brien, who each had two hits in the game, led off the inning with back-to-back singles before a double from Chris Welsh plated both players. Dave Mattle and Chad Kinyon both singled and scored on a two-run double from Dan Gutschmidt.
Tech took control of the game with one run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to make the score 8-4. A RBI double from Murton, who went 3-for-4 with two RBI in the game, drove in Basil in the seventh, while a two-run double from Prince plated Menocal and Richard Lewis in the eighth.
Kent State mounted one final rally in the top of the ninth. Pat O’Brien doubled and scored on a RBI groundout from Eric O’Brien, but Mitchell came out of the Tech bullpen to put out the fire and preserve the Tech victory.
Georgia Tech and Kent State will continue the three game series on Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. each day.