June 9, 2006
ATLANTA – Right-handed pitcher Blake Wood (11-4) threw 6.2 scoreless innings and catcher Matt Wieters went 2-for-4, with two runs batted in and a home run (14), to lead No. 4 Georgia Tech (49-16) past No. 11 College of Charleston (46-16), 5-0, in the NCAA Atlanta Super Regional on Friday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
“It was a well pitched game by both sides and I felt Blake (Wood), even though he was in and out of trouble, he really did a good job of keeping them from scoring,” said Tech coach Danny Hall. “I thought our guys played really well and I tip my hat to the College of Charleston. I thought their pitcher was very good, and it’s easy to see why he’d won eleven games in a row.”
With the win, the Yellow Jackets are one win shy of making their third College World Series appearance (1994, 2002).
“The beauty of this tournament is you have to win two games,” said Cougars’ coach John Pawlowski. “They [Georgia Tech] certainly deserved to win today. I think the biggest thing is that we’ve got to find a way to score some runs early and get some momentum on our side.”
Right-handed pitcher Brad Rulon earned his second save of the season for the Jackets, throwing the final 2.1 innings, allowing three hits, no runs and struck out two.
“(Brad) Rulon came in and pitched well in relief,” said Hall. “Kindel’s throw early to get that guy out at the plate was also huge to keep them from scoring.”
Right-handed pitcher Nick Chigges (11-2) was the tough luck loser for the Cougars, throwing 6.1 innings, scattering five hits, allowing two runs and struck out six.
Tech second baseman Mike Trapani went 2-for-3 at the plate, while designated hitter Wes Hodges finished 1-for-3, with one RBI and a walk. Left fielder Jeff Kindel blasted his 12th home run of the season, finishing 1-for-4 in the game.
C of C’s Clay McCord, Jess Easterling and Alex Garabedian extend hitting streaks to 11 games, each going 1-for-4 in the game.
Kindel gave the Jackets the first lead of the game with a leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Cougars threatened with three consecutive singles, but Kindel threw a the potential tying run out at the plate from left field and Wood retired the next two batters to keep Tech on top 1-0.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Wieters continued to be hot at the plate for Tech, smashing his 14th home run of the season, a two-out blast to right field, to increase the Jackets’ lead to two, 2-0.
Rulon entered the game for the Jackets in the top of the seventh inning with Cougars at first and third with two outs. After a stolen base, Rulon was able to induce a pop out to second base to end the threat and preserve Tech’s two-run lead.
Wieters delivered again for the Yellow Jackets with a two-out single up the middle to plate another run for Tech in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Jackets took a 3-0 lead.
Tech added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-run single by Hodges as the Jackets increased their lead to five, 5-0.
Rulon retired three of the four batters faced in the top of the ninth inning as Tech went on to defeat the Cougars by a score of 5-0.
C of C 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0 0-11-1 GT 0-1-0-0-1-0-1-2-X 5-9-0
NOTES: RHP Blake Wood has not allowed an earned run in the last 13.2 innings pitched in super regional play … Matt Wieters is 10-for-13 in the NCAA Tournament, with four home runs, eight runs batted in and has reached base safely in 17 of 20 plate appearances … Tech snapped Nick Chigges’ 11-game winning streak and 25.2 scoreless innings pitched streak … College of Charleston has only been shut out four times this year, three times by ACC schools (Clemson-2, Tech-1).