March 8, 2011
ATLANTA – Freshman Mott Hyde was 3-for-4 with four RBI to lead the 24th-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team to a 7-4 victory over Kennesaw State Tuesday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Georgia Tech improves to 9-4 on the season after picking up its fourth-straight win, while Kennesaw State drops to 9-3 with the loss.
Hyde drove in a pair of runs with a double to left field in the second inning, and knocked in two more in the third with a single up the middle to give Georgia Tech an early 5-1 lead.
“Mott [Hyde] picked us up today,” head coach Danny Hall said. “He had a good night swinging the bat and he was a guy, when we failed at the situational hitting, he came up and got the job done.”
The four run advantage was just enough to support freshman starter Matthew Grimes, who improved to 2-1 on the season after scattering four runs on six hits over 5.0 innings.
After allowing a solo home run to Kennesaw’s Drew Fowlkes in the second inning, Grimes settled down, holding the Owl’s hitless in both the third and the fourth frames.
The Owls would rally for three runs on three hits in the fifth inning, however, cutting the lead to 5-4. Grimes’ wild pitch allowed KSU’s Will Howard to score from third, before a RBI double by Aaron Dobbs and RBI single by Ronnie Freeman brought across the other two runs.
With the single, Freeman extended his nation-leading hit streak to 41 games.
Sophomore pitcher Luke Bard, who entered in relief of Grimes in the sixth, kept the Owls off-balance for the final four innings of the game. The Charlotte, N.C. native yielded just one hit for the four-inning save, his first of the season and the third of his career.
Bard had three strikeouts his sixth relief appearance of the season.
“I think that he [Luke Bard] has thrown very well his last two or three times out,” Hall said. “We need him, and he is a guy we count on a lot. We debated on keeping him out there for the ninth, but I just wanted to make sure somebody was going to throw strikes and he did really well.”
The Jackets add a run in the seventh on a fielding error, and another in the eighth on a single by freshman Zane Evans to cushion the lead at 7-4.
Georgia Tech will open Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend, hosting Maryland for a three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is at 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.