March 3, 2006
ATLANTA – Danny Payne homered and drove in seven runs, and Jeff Kindel added a home run to lead No. 1 Georgia Tech (11-0) to a 25-8 win over Rutgers (3-3) in the opener of a three-game series on Friday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 11 games. Tech established season highs with 25 runs and 18 hits.
Payne had four hits – a home run, two doubles and a single – with a career-high seven RBI. Kindel went 3-for-5 with his team-leading third home run of the season. Wes Hodges added three hits and two RBI, while Whit Robbins and Andy Hawranick added two hits each. Mike Trapani and Michael Fisher each drove in three runs.
Tech starter Blake Wood (4-0) pitched through a rough fourth inning to improve to 14-1 over the last two years. Wood worked five innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits.
Reliever Jared Hyatt pitched three innings and allowed one run while striking out five. Payne made his first career pitching appearance and worked a scoreless ninth inning.
A double from Matt Wieters and a triple from Kindel gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Rutgers tied the game on a RBI groundout from Nick Stavarkis in the top of the third inning.
The Yellow Jackets exploded for three runs in the second inning and five runs in the third to take a 9-1 lead. Payne had a two-run double in the second and added a two-run homer in the third, while Kindel had a solo homer in the third. Trapani and Fisher added sacrifice flies in the third inning.
The Scarlet Knights answered with six runs in the fourth inning to pull within 9-7. Ryan Hill cleared the bases with a three-run double, Steve Hook added a RBI double and Tim Querns had a RBI single.
Tech broke the game open with a seven-run sixth inning, making the score 16-7. The Yellow Jackets sent 12 batters to the plate and had just three hits, but were aided by four walks and two hits batters. Hodges had a two-run single, and Robbins added a RBI single.
Rutgers’ Steve Hook hit a solo home run, his first of the year, in the top of the seventh.
The Yellow Jackets added three runs in the seventh inning on a RBI double from Payne and RBI singles from Hawranick and Trapani to extend the lead to 19-8. Tech scored six more runs in the eighth inning, including RBI singles from freshmen Jason Haniger and Chris House in their first career at bats and a RBI single from Payne.
Rutgers starter Steve Holt (1-1), one of seven Scarlet Knight pitchers in the game, allowed eight runs on seven hits in two-plus innings and took the loss. Rutgers’ pitchers issued 11 walks and hit four batters.
Georgia Tech and Rutgers will continue the series on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. each day.