March 3, 2013
THE FLATS – Sophomore Cole Pitts gave No. 20 Georgia Tech another Sunday gem and the Yellow Jackets collected 18 hits in a 12-0 whitewash of Rutgers to complete the three-game weekend sweep at Russ Chandler Stadium. Junior Kyle Wren had four hits and stole two bases to pace the 11-1 Jackets.
Pitts improved to 3-0 by allowing just two hits, no walks and four strikeouts in five efficient innings. Alex Cruz, Jared Jillson, DeAndre Smelter and Jonathan King each tossed scoreless innings to complete the Jackets’ second shutout. Rutgers (2-7) was limited to four hits.
“We played really well, not only this weekend, but on the week to go 5-0,” said head coach Danny Hall. “We did pitch it really well this weekend, played pretty good defense and swung the bats. Kyle had a great day today and gave us a big boost.”
Zane Evans and A.J. Murray each had two hits, while Daniel Palka and Mott Hyde each drove in a pair of runs. Thirteen different Jackets (11-1) recorded hits and 10 collected RBI in Tech’s sixth-consecutive game scoring double-digit runs. The streak is the second-longest in school history, trailing only an eight-game stretch by the 2005 club.
Tech matched its season-high with 18 hits – all were singles.
“The guys at the middle and the bottom of our order are doing some damage,” said Hall. “But the key is we’re getting on base ahead of them, and those guys behind them are doing their part right now.”
Wren singled on the game’s first pitch, swiped second and scored thanks to an RBI single from Sam Dove for a quick 1-0 lead. Rutgers starter Charlie Law retired the next two, but the Jackets went to work with two outs, getting RBI singles from Zane Evans, Matt Gonzalez, a two-run single from Mott Hyde and an RBI single from Wren as Tech batted around.
The six-run first inning was the Jackets’ highest scoring inning this season and marked the ninth time in 12 games Tech scored in the opening frame (9-0).
Palka clubbed a two-run single to left and Murray followed with a run-scoring single through the right side, expanding the lead to 9-0 in the third.
The Jackets cleared the bench in the later innings and the reserves put together a three-run seventh inning to cap the scoring. Freshman Cole Miller’s first career hit made it 10-0, Will Young drove in his first run in his first career at-bat with an RBI ground out and Thomas Smith ripped an RBI single to center.
Law fanned five in two innings for Rutgers, but allowed 10 hits and nine runs to fall to 0-2. Nathaniel Roe fired four scoreless innings for the Scarlet Knights in relief.
Winners of six in a row, the Yellow Jackets are home Tuesday night to host Mercer at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Bears are 11-1 and off to their best start in program history. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.