March 29, 2009
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Iden Nazario held No. 3 Georgia Tech (18-4, 8-2 ACC) to two runs through seven innings and Scott Lawson belted a three-run home run to help No. 2 Miami (20-7, 8-4 ACC) avoid a sweep by the Yellow Jackets with a 6-2 win Sunday afternoon at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Lawson’s home run broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fourth, and the Hurricane pitching staff held Tech to just two hits over the final six innings to preserve the win.
Nazario (3-0) worked a career-long seven innings and struck out a career-high 10 Yellow Jackets to pick up his third win of the season. He faced just three over the minimum through his final four innings of work.
Derek Dietrich had three of the Yellow Jackets’ eight hits in the game, two of which were doubles, while the Miami pitching staff limited Tech to just one home run in the finale. The Yellow Jackets hit eight homers through the first two games of the series.
A run-scoring double from Dietrich gave the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, and Tech tacked on another run in the second when Jason Garofalo deposited his second home run of the series over the center field wall.
Miami cut Tech’s lead in the half in the bottom of the second when Jason Hagerty reached on a leadoff triple and scored on Harold Martinez’ run-scoring single.
Following a 13-minute rain delay in the bottom of the third, the Hurricanes evened the score at 2-2 with on a run-scoring single by Hagerty. Nathan Melendres singled to lead off the third and moved to second on a throwing error by Garofalo. Another error by the Tech second baseman allowed Melendres to move to third base before the Miami center fielder scored on Hagerty’s second hit of the afternoon.
With two outs and runners on first and second in the bottom of the fourth inning, Lawson pulled a 2-1 offering from Yellow Jacket starter Kevin Jacob over the right field wall to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the game at 5-2.
Jacob (4-1) was chased in the bottom of the fourth after yielding five runs on seven hits to the Hurricanes. He also walked four Miami batters before being lifted for right-hander Thomas Nichols.
Nichols, Taylor Wood, Andrew Robinson and Zach Brewster held the Hurricanes hitless over the next 3-2/3 innings before Yasmani Grandal belted a solo home run off Brewster in the bottom of the eighth to extend the `Canes lead to 6-3.
Nichols struck out two of the six batters he faced, while Robinson recorded three strikeouts in his two innings of work. Both Yellow Jackets worked out of jams during the middle innings, posting inning-ending strikeouts to strand the bases loaded in the fourth and fifth, respectively. The Hurricanes left a total of 15 runners on base in the game.
Kyle Bellamy tossed the final two innings to pick up his seventh save of the season, which ties Tech closer Mark Pope for the most in the league in 2009.
The Yellow Jackets return to action Wednesday when they travel to Macon, Ga., to play Mercer at 6 p.m. The game can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), while live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.