March 20, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. – No. 17 Georgia used a pair of big innings to distance itself, and handed No. 14 Georgia Tech a 7-1 loss Tuesday night at Foley Field in Athens, Ga. in the 354th meeting between rivals. It marked the first regular-season loss for the Jackets in Athens since the 2007 season.
Tech, which had won four-straight regular-season meetings over the Bulldogs at Foley Field and six of the last seven in the series overall, slipped to 14-7 on the year, while Georgia improved to 16-6. The rivals will play twice more this season – April 24 at Turner Field and May 9 at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Sophomore Zane Evans gave the Yellow Jackets a quality effort in his first collegiate start, but got no run support over his four innings of work. Evans allowed six hits (five in the second inning) and four runs (two earned) in picking up the loss (0-1).
Evans should have been out of the second with just a run — a solo blast to lead off the frame by Brett DeLoach — but Tech misplayed a fly ball in the outfield and an error in the infield opened the door for a five-hit, four-run uprising.
“I thought he did fine out there and four innings is about what we wanted to get out of him,” said head coach Danny Hall. “He left a couple breaking balls up and DeLoach hit a fastball in and pounded it, so tip your cap to him. I thought he made a pretty good pitch. In my mind, Zane should have given up just one run if we play defense.”
That was all the Bulldogs would need, behind a pitching staff that brought a 2.62 team ERA into the contest. Six different pitchers combined to record 11 strikeouts against two walks and starter David Sosebee worked three one-hit innings and was credited with the win on a predetermined staff day.
“They kept us off-balance, we struck out two much, and had a hard time putting the ball in play,” said Hall. “Over and above the bat, we had two miscues on defense and that led to two big innings.”
Sam Dove finished 2-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games.
Three consecutive singles by Kyle Wren, Brandon Thomas and Jake Davies to lead off the sixth inning cut Tech’s margin to 4-1, but a key strike-out-caught-stealing double play and a ground out quickly extinguished any hopes of a Jacket rally.
The Bulldogs scored three more times in the bottom half, capitalizing on another Tech error.
Curt Powell had two hits and two RBI for Georgia, while Conor Welton drove in two runs.
Tech returns to action with an ACC series at Boston College this weekend. The series is underway Friday at 2:30 p.m.