March 28, 2009
CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Zach Von Tersch worked five solid innings, and No. 3 Georgia Tech (18-3, 8-1 ACC) smacked three home runs to down No. 2 Miami (19-7, 7-4 ACC), 6-4, Saturday night at Alex Rodriguez Park.
Five of Tech’s six runs came off homers by Derek Dietrich, Luke Murton and Tony Plagman, and the Yellow Jackets have hit eight home runs in the series against the Hurricanes. Seventeen of Tech’s 19 runs this weekend have come off the long ball.
Von Tersch (5-1) held Miami to two runs on four hits while striking out seven to pick up his fifth win of the season. The junior right-hander faced just two over the minimum through the first four innings of the game.
“Zach really set the tone for the whole game with the way that he pitched tonight,” head coach Danny Hall said. “He was on top of his game and was really aggressive, which was great to see. That’s what we want out of him, and he really responded and gave us a great game.”
He turned the ball over to his bullpen in the sixth inning, and Zach Brewster, Patrick Long, Jake Davies and Mark Pope combined to hold the Hurricanes to just three hits over the final four innings of the game. Brewster and Davies both made scoreless appearances, and Pope closed out the game by picking up his seventh save of the season.
“I was very pleased,” Hall said. “Everyone we brought into the game out of the bullpen got us key outs and we needed that. It seemed like (Miami) kept putting pressure on us, but our bullpen was tremendous.”
Plagman led the Jackets with two hits on the night and joined Dietrich and Murton to drive in two runs apiece.
“We had the home runs to get us the lead, and then Plagman’s hit off Kyle Bellamy late in the game was big since it gave us a three-run lead going into the ninth,” Hall added.
Jason Hagerty reached on a leadoff single and eventually scored on a wild pitch by Tech starter Zach Von Tersch to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but Tony Plagman tied the game at 1-1 with a solo home run – his seventh of the season – in the top of the fourth.
Derek Dietrich deposited his fourth homer of the season over the right field wall to give the Yellow Jackets a 3-1 edge in the top of the fifth inning after Jeff Dantzler led off the frame with a single up the middle.
Miami pulled within one run of the Jackets in the bottom of the sixth when Scott Lawson scored on a balk by reliever Zach Brewster. The Tech left-hander entered the game with no outs and runners on first and second to strike out Chris Hermann, the No. 3 batter in the Hurricane lineup. He then forced Hagerty into a ground ball, but the Miami first baseman narrowly beat out what would have been an inning-ending double play to put runners on the corners. Brewster’s balk came with a 1-2 count on Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, who later grounded out to end the inning.
A two-run homer by Luke Murton, his third of the series, extended Tech’s lead to three runs in the eighth inning, but an RBI single by Hagerty narrowed the gap to 5-3 in the bottom of the frame.
Plagman’s run-scoring single pushed Tech’s lead back to three runs in the ninth inning, and the Jackets turned the game over to Mark Pope to close out the game.
David Gutierrez (2-2) suffered his second loss of the season despite holding Tech to just three runs on five hits through five innings.
Tech and Miami conclude the weekend series Sunday at 1 p.m., and the game can be seen on CSS and heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org). Additionally, live stats are always available at Ramblinwreck.com. Sophomore Kevin Jacob (4-0, 1.69 ERA) will be making the first weekend start of his career for the Yellow Jackets, and Miami will counter with left-hander Iden Nazario (2-0, 6.14 ERA) in the series finale.