June 4, 2004
ATLANTA – Junior Eric Patterson went 3-for-4, with a home run and four runs batted and right-handed pitcher Brian Burks (8-5) won his sixth straight decision to lead top-seeded Georgia Tech (42-19) over fourth-seeded Jacksonville State (31-28), 16-3, Friday night in the Atlanta Regional at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets unveiled a 20-hit attack on the night, scoring three runs in the second, third and fourth innings and five more in the seventh inning to cruise past the Gamecocks. Tech’s 16 runs is the most since the 2000 NCAA Tournament and is tied for the fourth most ever in 84 postseason games.
Burks tossed eight innings for Tech, scattering 10 hits, allowing three runs, two earned runs, and struck out five. JSU right-handed pitcher Bobby Wynns (9-7) picked up the loss for the Gamecocks, throwing 3.1 innings, allowing nine hits, 10 runs, nine earned runs and struck out two.
Several Jackets had multiple hits for Tech, including freshman Whit Robbins, going 3-for-5, with a home run, two runs batted in and a double. Junior Clifton Remole hit his fourth NCAA postseason home run, tying him for the second most in Tech history with Jason Varitek, Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Perry, K.G. White and Jeff Distasio. Remole ended the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs and scored three times.
Jacksonville State jumped out in front early in the top of the first inning as Robby Goodson hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Winston Pearson who singled and advanced to third base on a two-bag error by the Tech center fielder as the Gamecocks led 1-0 after a half inning of play.
Tech responded with a run in the bottom of the first inning with two consecutive singles by Micah Owings and Brandon Boggs after Steven Blackwood was hit-by-a-pitch, all with two outs, as the game was tied at 1-1 after the first inning.
After the Gamecocks tallied another run in the second inning, Tech’s Patterson answered with a three-run home run, his eighth of the season, in the bottom of the second inning to vault the Yellow Jackets in front, 4-2, heading to the third inning.
The Jackets used the long ball in the bottom of the third inning on back-to-back home runs by Remole, fourth of the season, and Mike Nickeas, his seventh of the season, as the Rambling Wreck opened up a five-run lead, 7-2.
Tech posted its third straight three-run inning in the fourth inning to increase its advantage to eight, 10-2. Owings drove in the first run of the inning and Boggs followed with a single. On a double steal, Owings and Boggs scored on an errant throw by the JSU catcher. Wynns was removed from the game in favor of Brian Booth with runners on first and second and one out. Booth was able to get out of the inning with no further damage as the game advanced to the fifth inning.
The Rambling Wreck’s Robbins tallied his third hit of the game in the bottom of the sixth inning to drive in Remole who led off the inning with a single as the lead was pushed to nine, 11-2.
In the top of the seventh inning, JSU’s Bobby Hicks drove in his second run of the game on a single through the right side that deflected off the Tech first baseman’s glove and went in to center field to plate pinch hitter Bret Pettus who singled to right field as Tech led 11-3.
Tech put the game away in the seventh inning as the Yellow Jackets batted around the order and scored five runs on five hits to up their advantage to 13 runs, 16-3. Driving in runs for Tech in the inning were Tyler Greene, Remole, Nickeas, Mike Trapani and Patterson.
Burks was relieved on the mound in the ninth inning by Jared Hyatt. The right-handed pitcher retired the side in order to close out the game for the Rambling Wreck.
JSU’s Hicks ended the game 2-for-2, with two runs batted in to lead the Gamecocks offensively. Brian Haskins chipped in for Jacksonville State with a 2-for-3 performance at the dish.
The top-seeded Yellow Jackets will face No. 2 seed Texas Tech at 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. No. 3 seed Mississippi State will take on No. 4 seed Jacksonville State at 11 a.m. on Saturday morning in an elimination game.
Line Score R-H-E-------------------------------------JS 1-1-0-0-0-0-1-0-0 3-10-4GT 1-3-3-3-0-1-5-0-X 16-20-1-------------------------------------