Feb. 17, 2013
THE FLATS – Visiting Akron brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning, but No. 21 Georgia Tech held off the Zips, 5-3, to sweep the season-opening series at Russ Chandler Stadium. Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas each had three hits to pace the Jackets.
Wren was 3-for-5, tripled and scored, while Thomas was 3-for-4, doubled and scored for Tech (3-0), which pounded out 11 hits as a team and swept on opening weekend for the first time since 2010.
Sophomore starter Cole Pitts was efficient in six innings of work, and picked up the win by fanning seven, walking one and allowing just three hits and two runs. In three games this weekend, Tech pitchers struck out 35 batters, walked six, and of the 18 hits allowed, only three went for extra bases.
“I thought Cole was a little inconsistent with his fastball early on, but had pretty good command of his fastball and his breaking stuff,” said head coach Danny Hall. “All told, he was in command most of the day, made pitches when he had to, and we’ll take seven strikeouts and one walk any day of the week.”
Akron (0-3) took its first lead of the series in the second inning when Joey Havrilak opened the scoring with a solo home run to right off Pitts. The sophomore righty settled in after the homer, retiring 11 of the next 12 Zips to allow the Jackets to take the lead.
Wren helped the hosts pull even in the third as he tripled to left and scored thanks to a sacrifice fly from Sam Dove. That triple for Wren was the 14th of his career, tying him with Yellow Jacket great Nomar Garciaparra for fourth on Tech’s all-time list.
Freshman Matt Gonzalez, who finished his debut weekend 5-for-9 with four RBI, ripped a two-out single through the left side that gave the Jackets the lead at 2-1 in the fourth. Gonzalez drove in another run later the next inning with a sac fly, after an RBI single from Zane Evans and a run-scoring double from A.J. Murray made it 4-1.
Akron, though, hung around on getaway day, shaving the deficit to 5-2 in the sixth on Devan Ahart’s sacrifice fly. Then in ninth, Grant Alvarez reached on a leadoff infield single and scored when Brady Stewart doubled with two outs. Gerrad Rohan stepped in as the tying run, but went down looking on a 3-2 pitch to end it.
Freshman lefty Jonathan King made his second appearance of the weekend, tossing a pair of scoreless, one-hit innings in relief of Pitts. Evans dodged trouble in the ninth to nail down his eighth career save.
JT Brubaker was tagged the loss for Akron, allowing eight hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Tech is back in action Tuesday versus cross-town rival Georgia State at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.