April 3, 2013
THE FLATS – Sophomore A.J. Murray had three hits and scored twice, pacing a balanced offensive attack for No. 15 Georgia Tech, which pounded out 12 hits and rolled past Kennesaw State, 9-1, Wednesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Thomas Smith was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and two runs, while Kyle Wren had two hits and two RBI. Sam Dove drove in a pair and Mott Hyde was on base three times and scored twice for the Yellow Jackets, who snapped a two-game skid and improved to 22-7. The Owls slipped to 17-13.
Tech is now 17-3 at home this season, and improved to 799-224-1 (.780) at the Rusty C since it opened in 1985.
“I thought it was a good bounce-back win for us,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Pitching, hitting, defense – we had good energy tonight and I was pleased with the way the team responded. Offensively, we had a lot of guys contribute, and that’s great to see.”
Wren extended his hitting streak to 18 games, which is the longest in the ACC this season and the longest at Tech since Jeff Rowland’s 18-game streak in 2009. Wren is hitting .500 (39-for-78) over his 18-game streak.
Six different Tech pitchers combined to limit the visitors to a run on seven hits – just one for extra bases. Sophomore Cole Pitts started and worked three innings on a pitch count. He allowed four hits and the RBI single from Max Pentacost in the second inning put KSU up 1-0.
“Tonight was our most complete game our pitchers have had as a staff,” said Hall. “They got out of trouble when they needed it, and I was pleased with that. It was good to see Devin get out there – we wanted him to face a couple batters – and we wanted Zane to pitch the ninth.”
Junior Jonathan Roberts fired an inning of scoreless relief and was credited with the victory (2-0). Sam Clay went two scoreless and the Jackets received effective late-inning work from Josh Heddinger (1.1 innings, one hit), Devin Stanton (0.2 innings, no hits) and Zane Evans (1.0 inning, one hit).
Tech loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the second thanks to singles from Murray and Gonzalez and a walk to Hyde. A double-play ended the rally, but allowed Murray to score the equalizer. The Jackets went back to work in the fourth and Smith ripped a go-ahead RBI double down the right-field line and Wren followed with an RBI single up the middle for a 3-1 lead.
Sending 10 batters to the plate in the fifth inning, Tech broke the game open with a five-run, four-hit uprising to seize an 8-1 lead and put the game out of reach. Murray smoked an RBI triple to the gap in left, Smith and Wren chipped in RBI base hits and Dove hammered a two-run single up the middle.
An RBI single from Daniel Spingola in the seventh inning capped the scoring.
KSU starter Will Solomon went four innings, and was charged with five hits and three runs and absorbed the loss (2-3). Dylan Ivey had two of the Owls’ seven hits.
Tech returns to action Friday when it opens a three-game ACC series versus Duke at Historic Jack Coombs Field in Durham, N.C. First pitch Friday is set for 6 p.m. and all three games can be heard on WREK.