April 20, 2010
ATLANTA –Mark Pope picked up his sixth win of the season, allowing just two runs over 8.0 innings as No. 3 Georgia Tech defeated Georgia Southern, 6-2, Tuesday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
With the win, the Jackets improved to 32-5 overall while the Eagles fell to 21-16.
Pope (6-0) joins teammate Brandon Cumpton to give Tech two six-game winners on the season.
After allowing two runs through the first three innings, the sophomore right-hander went on to pitch five scoreless innings while yielding just four hits from the fourth inning through the eighth. His 8.0 innings pitched tie a season and career high.
“I thought he [Mark Pope] threw the ball really well,” head coach Danny Hall said. “I know that they got some hits, but some of them weren’t that great and just happened to find some holes. I thought really after the first few innings that he was pretty dominant.”
Junior Derek Dietrich went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBI to pace the Jackets at the plate. Dietrich, along with juniors Chase Burnette and Thomas Nichols combined to drive in all six of the teams runs on the day.
Kyle Blackburn led the Eagles with two hits, one coming on an RBI double to right field.
Defensively, the Jackets turned three double plays on the day to tie a season high.
“I think the double plays were really big in the win,” Hall added. When we got [Kyle] Blackburn on that double play in the eighth inning, I thought that was a key play. We made most of the plays, and the three double plays were definitely rally killers.”
Both teams traded runs in the first and third frames, with Tech evening up the score at 2-2 in the third on a RBI single to center Burnette.
The Jackets broke the 2-2 tie in the fifth inning, plating four runs off of Georgia Southern reliever Chris Beck. Dietrich and Nichols belted home runs to right-center around a fielder’s choice RBI by Burnette for the 6-2 lead. Dietrich’s solo blast was his 13th of the season, while Nichols’ two-run round-tripper was his fifth.
Beck dropped to 2-4 on the season after allowing five runs on five hits in 4.1 innings. He entered the game with two outs in the second for Georgia Southern starter Matt Murray.
Senior Patrick Long struck out two batters to close out the game for the Jackets in the ninth.
The midweek series concludes Wednesday with a 4 p.m. start at Russ Chandler Stadium. Freshman Buck Farmer will take the mound for Tech against Georgia Southern right-hander Justin Hess.