Feb. 18, 2005
ATLANTA – Catcher Andy Hawranick had two hits and drove in three runs, and Jason Neighborgall pitched six strong innings to lead No. 14 Georgia Tech (3-1) to a 9-3 win over visiting Iona (0-1) on Friday afternoon in the opener of a three-game series.
The Yellow Jackets won their third straight game after dropping their season opener.
Neighborgall (1-0) picked up his first win of the year with a solid outing. The junior right-hander worked six innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out a career-high eight batters.
Matt Wieters earned his first career save by working the three scoreless innings to close out the game, allowing just one baserunner and striking out four.
Leading by a slim 4-3 margin, the Yellow Jackets exploded for four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. A walk to Wieters and a double from Whit Robbins put runners on second and third bases before Hawranick drove in both runners with a single to left field. Steven Blackwood capped the inning with a two-run double.
The Yellow Jackets added an insurance run in the eighth inning on Mike Trapani’s RBI groundout.
Tech jumped to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a RBI single from Wieters and a RBI groundout from Hawranick, and the Yellow Jackets extended the lead to 3-0 on Wes Hodges’ bases loaded walk in the third inning.
A RBI single from Ryan Bucci pulled the Gaels to within 3-1 in the top of the fourth inning, but Hawranick scored on a balk in the bottom of the inning to make the score 4-1.
Iona scored twice in the sixth, including a RBI single from James LaSala, to make the score 4-3. LaSala and Matt Bruno paced the Gaels’ offense with two hits apiece.
Iona starter Marty Hand (0-1) took the loss, allowing four runs in four innings.
Georgia Tech and Iona will continue the three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.