Feb. 23, 2008
ATLANTA – Starter Eddie Burns and three relievers combined on a 10-hit shutout, and left fielder Chris House threw out the potential tying run at the plate to end the game as 25th-ranked Georgia Tech (2-0) blanked Youngstown State (0-2), 1-0, for the second straight game.
Georgia Tech opened the season with two straight shutouts for the first time since 1925. Last year, the Yellow Jackets had two shutouts in 57 games.
Georgia Tech recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since the 2002 NCAA Atlanta Regional when the Yellow Jackets blanked Coastal Carolina and Georgia on consecutive days. The Jackets shut out the same team in consecutive nine-inning games for the first time since 1971.
The lone run of the game was unearned and it came in the second inning. Tech first baseman Tony Plagman laced a one-out single to left field, and then advanced to third base on a wild pitch and passed ball. Jeff Rowland delivered a two-out infield single to drive in Plagman.
From there, the pitchers took control of the game. Burns (1-0) scattered six hits over six innings, striking out four while not issuing a walk. Andrew Robinson and Brad Rulon worked a scoreless seventh and eighth inning, respectively, before Chris Hicks closed out the game in the ninth to pick up his first save of the year.
The Penguins threatened in the ninth when Joe Iacobucci led off the inning with a single. After Hicks struck out Anthony Munoz for the first out of the inning, he appeared to have the game closed out with a potential double play ball. But the throw from second baseman Jeff Ussery escaped Plagman at first base, and the Penguins’ Sean Lucas was able to take second with two outs. Davis Leon followed with a single to left field, but House gunned down Lucas at the plate to end the game.
The Penguins also threatened in the third inning by loading the bases with two outs, but Burns escaped the jam by retiring Tom Clayton on a flyout to end the inning.
Meanwhile, the Youngstown State combination of starter Adam Kalapos and reliever Chuck Schiffhauer held the Yellow Jackets’ offense in check. Kalapos (0-1) was the tough luck loser after allowing four hits and four walks, and striking out five batters. Schiffhauer allowed three hits over three shutout innings and struck out two.
Plagman and Luke Murton each had two hits for the Yellow Jackets. Josh Page paced Youngstown State with three hits in four at bats.
Tech and Youngstown State will conclude the series Sunday with a 1 p.m. first pitch at Russ Chandler Stadium. The game can be found on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv) with Kurt Hoyt and Steven Blackwood calling the action while live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.