CORAL GABLES, FL (May 7) – Mike Rodriguez slapped a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to lead 12th-ranked Miami past No. 4 Georgia Tech, 3-2, on Sunday night, May 7, at Mark Light Stadium.
After Javy Rodriguez and Kevin Mannix opened the Hurricanes’ half of the ninth with singles off of Tech reliever Jeff Watchko, a sacrifice bunt by Greg Lovelady left runners at second and third with one out. Watchko forced Chad Strong to fly out before Mike Rodriguez’s grounder through the right side pushed across the winning run.
The victory by the Hurricanes (31-16-1) evened the three-game series with the Yellow Jackets (38-12) at one win apiece.
The Yellow Jackets scratched the scoreboard in the top of the second inning. Bryan Prince led off the inning an infield hit to shortstop and took second base on a throwing error by Javy Rodriguez. Prince took third base on a Jason Basil groundout and came around to score on a RBI single from Derik Goffena.
Tech pushed the lead to 2-0 in the eighth inning. Tyler Parker led off the frame with a double over first base and then came around to score on a RBI double from Brad Stockton.
The Hurricanes battled back to tie the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth. Marcus Nettles led off with an infield single, stole second base, took third on a groundout and scored on a Ben Sheeter wild pitch. Mike Rodriguez, who reached on a fielder’s choice, took second and third bases on Sheeter’s back-to-back wild pitches and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Lale Esquivel.
Miami’s Tom Farmer (4-4) picked up the win in relief, tossing 1.1 shutout innings to close out the game. Georgia Tech’s Jeff Watchko (3-1) took the loss, surrendering one run and three hits in his 1.1 innings of relief.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision, although both were very effective. Tech’s Rhett Parrott struck out a career-high 12 batters while allowing two runs in 7.1 innings. Miami’s Brian Walker allowed two runs on six hits in seven-plus innings of work.
Georgia Tech and Miami will conclude the three-game series on Monday at 7 p.m. The games will be televised live on Fox Sports Net South in Atlanta and on Fox Sports Net Florida in the Miami area.