Feb. 26, 2010
ATLANTA – Junior Cole Leonida’s RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning proved to be enough as the No. 3 Georgia Tech baseball team (6-0) held on for a 5-4 win over Xavier (0-4) Friday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
After junior Chase Burnette led off the inning with an awkward double that dropped between three Xavier players in shallow left field, Leonida ripped a 2-2 pitch from Xavier reliever Brian Muranksi through the gap between short and third, bringing Burnette home from second for the eventual game-winning run.
Senior Andrew Robinson (1-0) picked up the win on the mound for Tech, allowing just one hit while striking out two in one inning of relief.
Xavier struck first for a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning, on a groundout to first base by the Musketeer’s Bobby Freking that scored second baseman Drew Schmidt from third.
The Jackets grabbed one back in the bottom half of the inning, on the single to right field by Burnette that scored junior Derek Dietrich. Dietrich led-off the inning with a single of his own before senior Tony Plagman was hit by a pitch, putting Dietrich in scoring position.
Both Burnette and Dietrich led the Jackets in the hitting column, each having a 2-for-4 outing on the day.
Sophomore third baseman Matt Skole gave Tech a 2-1 lead on the next at-bat with a sac fly to center that scored a tagging Plagman from third. Junior Thomas Nichols added the third run of the inning with a 2-out RBI double off the wall in center that scored Leonida, making it 3-1.
The Musketeer’s came out strong start the sixth, with back-to-back singles that put runner’s on the corners. A sac fly to right two batters later would cut the lead to 3-2, before a single down the left field line scored Schmidt to even the score.
Sophomore Jacob Esch grabbed the lead back for the Jackets with an RBI double off the wall in right center that scored Nichols in the bottom of the seventh.
Xavier tied the game again in the top of the eighth with a bases loaded single to shortstop making it 4-4, before Leonida’s heroics when Tech was up to bat.
Muranski (0-1) picked up the loss for the Musketeers, after surrendering the solo run on two hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief.
Junior Kevin Jacob picked up his second straight save on the season, but not before the Musketeer’s attempted a rally. With bases loaded and no outs, Jacob struck out Xavier’s Ben Thomas, who was 2-for-3 with an RBI in the game before the at-bat. Jacob then forced Freking into a rare 1-6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The series continues Saturday at 3 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium, as right-hander Brandon Cumpton (1-0) squares off against Xavier lefty Tommy Shirley (0-0).