Feb. 24, 2010
STATESBORO, Ga. – Led by sophomore Jacob Esch’s three-RBI day, the No. 3 Georgia Tech baseball team scored five runs in the final two innings for an 8-5 win over Georgia Southern Wednesday afternoon at J.I. Clements Stadium in Statesboro, Ga.
Esch, who was 3-for-5 on the day, plated two of his three RBI’s in a three run top of the ninth for the Yellow Jackets, who move to 5-0 on the season. Georgia Southern falls to 1-4.
“I was very impressed with the way our hitters came out today, especially against Georgia Southern’s ace pitcher,” head coach Danny Hall said. “Chase [Burnett] and Jacob [Esch], along with Cole Leonida came through with some very key at-bats in the end and our pitching staff had a great effort out there.”
Junior left-hander Zach Brewster picked up the win on the mound, pitching one inning of relief striking out two batters in the process.
Senior Tony Plagman put the Jackets on board in the top of the first, with a two-run homer to right field, breaking a two-game, 10 at-bat hitless streak. The home run for Plagman was his fourth of the season and the 38th of his career.
Georgia Southern grabbed one back in the bottom half of the inning, when the Eagle’s left fielder Shawn Payne scored from third on a groundout to second. The run ended Tech’s 18-inning shutout streak.
GSU would then even the score at two apiece on the next at-bat, as third baseman A.J. Wirnsberger sent a pitch from Farmer over the wall in left field. The home run was just the first surrendered by the Tech pitching staff this the season.
Farmer started the game for Tech, and allowed just two runs on three hits in five innings during his first career start. He also had four strikeouts on the day.
Junior Chase Burnette put the Jackets back on top in the fifth with a double to right center off Georgia Southern pitcher Jake Brown, scoring Plagman from second. Plagman put himself in scoring position with a single to right field and then a steal just one pitch later.
Senior Andrew Robinson entered the bottom of the sixth, and ran into some trouble quickly. After a single, a double and a walk, the Eagles loaded the bases before a groundout to shortstop scored the tying run at 3-3. Robinson retired the next two batters to get out of the inning safely.
Tech broke through in the top of the eighth on a single by Esch to left field off of Brown. After Burnette led off the inning with a single, Dantzler bunted him over to second. Junior catcher Cole Leonida, who entered the game in the seventh, then setup runners on the corners with a single of his own to left field before Esch’s RBI hit made it 4-3.
That would be it for the No. 1 starter for Georgia Southern, who entered the game in the fourth. Brown picked up the loss after giving up three runs on seven hits in three and 2/3 innings pitched.
The Jackets added another run on a sacrifice RBI to centerfield by junior Jeff Rowland that scored a tagging Leonida from third.
Georgia Southern tapped into the Tech lead in the bottom of the eighth with a 2-out single to center off Tech freshman pitcher Ben McKinney scoring a runner from second.
Tech closed out its scoring with three more runs in the top of the ninth, coming on back-to-back RBI singles by Leonida and Esch off GSU relief pitcher Andy Moye.
Junior closer Kevin Jacob picked up a four-out save after entering the game with two on and two outs in the bottom of the eighth. The save was his first of the season, and the first of his career.
The Jackets return to action Friday, Feb. 26, hosting the Xavier Musketeers for a three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is slated for 4 p.m.