April 3, 2010
ATLANTA – Derek Dietrich, Tony Plagman and Jeff Rowland had 10 of Georgia Tech’s season-high 24 hits, while the team clinched its fourth-straight Atlantic Coast Conference series with a 21-5 victory over Duke Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Jackets improved to 24-3 overall and 10-1 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while Duke fell to 16-11 and 3-8 in the ACC.
Thirteen different players recorded a hit for Tech, and 13 different players scored a run on Saturday night.
“I thought we swung the bats extremely well tonight,” head coach Danny Hall said. “We had a lot of different guys contribute. We scored in eight out of nine innings, and I was hoping we would score in nine out of nine. That is a coach’s dream. We couldn’t have played much better.”
Tech’s one through three hitters – Rowland, Dietrich and Plagman — brought in 10 of the team’s 21 runs on the day. Plagman led all batters with four hits in the game, while adding an RBI. Dietrich went 3-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI. Rowland was 3-for-5, hitting his eighth home run of the season. He drove in a career-high five RBI from his leadoff spot.
“Between Jeff Rowland, Tony [Plagman] and myself, we really got the team going,” junior shortstop Derek Dietrich said. “We really practiced throughout the week on squaring up the ball and moving runners, and I felt like we have done a good job with that yesterday and today. It’s just been rolling for the Jackets throughout the lineup, offensively and defensively. We have been pitching great and so far it is a great start to the weekend.”
The Jackets hit five home runs in the game, the third time the team has done so this year. In addition to Dietrich and Rowland, sophomores Matt Skole and Matt Simonds added round-trippers on the evening.
Junior Brandon Cumpton moved his record to 5-0 on the season, scattering three runs on five hits in 7.0 innings. He struck out a season-high seven batters on Saturday.
The Jackets became the first team in the ACC this year to have two pitchers reach five wins, as Cumpton joins Deck McGuire (5-1), who reached five in the win on Friday.
Dietrich started the scoring with a two-run shot to deep center in the bottom of the first, then added his second home run of the game in as many at-bats with a homer to right-center in the second that pushed the lead to six. It was the ninth home run of the season for Dietrich, and the third multi-home run game of his career. The Parma, Ohio native has now hit seven homers in ACC play, and at least one in six of his last eight conference games.
Duke starter Eric Pfisterer (2-3) would get the final out in the inning before he was pulled. Pfisterer was credited with his third loss of the season, after allowing six runs on five hits in 2.0 innings.
Tech reached the double digit plateau in the next frame, as Rowland blasted a three-run shot to right field to make it 10-0.
The Jackets would get four more in the next two innings, one on a RBI single by Thomas Nichols and three on a home run to right field by Skole, before Duke eliminated the shutout with a two-run homer by Will Currier in the top of the sixth.
The Jackets added seven more runs through the final three innings, highlighted by Simonds’ homer and a three RBI double to left field by sophomore Connor Winn.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.