STATESBORO, GA (Feb. 17) – Second baseman Richard Lewis hit for the cycle and scored five runs and Steve Kelly tossed eight strong innings to lead top-ranked Georgia Tech (3-1) to a 23-3 victory over Georgia Southern (4-1) on Feb. 17 before a J.I. Clements Stadium record crowd of 2,071.
Kelly (1-0) picked up the victory after holding the Eagles to three unearned runs on five hits in eight innings. He struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk while needing only 79 pitches in the eight frames of work. Georgia Southern starter Brett Lewis (1-1) took the loss after allowing nine runs on 11 hits in 4.1 innings.
Lewis finished the afternoon with five hits in seven at bats, including two singles, one double, one triple and a three-run homer. He becomes the second Yellow Jacket in as many years to hit for the cycle, joining teammate Jason Basil who accomplished the feat during the 2000 ACC Tournament.
The Tech offense pounded out a season-high 23 hits in the game, including four apiece from Basil and Victor Menocal and two hits from Mark Teixeira, Matt Murton and Jon Henry Kail. Lewis paced the Yellow Jackets with four RBI, while Tyler Paker drove in three runs and Teixeira, Basil, Kail and Menocal each added two RBI in the game.
Georgia Tech took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and then added two more runs in the second. The Yellow Jackets exploded for six runs in the fourth to make the score 9-0 and pushed the lead to 14-0 with five more runs in the sixth inning.
The Eagles scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the sixth after Carlos Love struck out and reached first base on a passed ball with two outs in the inning.
The Yellow Jackets responded with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings before exploding for seven runs in the top of the ninth inning. The 23 runs by the Yellow Jackets marked the highest single game total against the Eagles in the 75-game history of the series.
Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern will conclude the two-game series on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.