May 30, 2003
ATLANTA – Senior righthander Adam Blair struck out ten, and allowed just five hits over a career-long 8.1 innings of work, as No. 4 seed Stetson upset top-seeded Georgia Tech, 5-4, in the opening round of the 2003 NCAA Atlanta Regional at Russ Chandler Stadium.
With the victory, Stetson advances to play South Carolina in a 3 p.m. winners’ bracket contest on Saturday afternoon. Georgia Tech will face East Carolina in an elimination game at 11 a.m. The Gamecocks defeated the Pirates, 4-0, in the day’s opening game.
Trailing 2-0 in the top of the sixth inning, the Hatters (40-22) blasted three home runs off of Tech starter Micah Owings (9-3), to take the lead for good at 4-2. Back-to-back shots by Brian Snyder and Andy Wilson knotted the score at 2-2. After a groundout, catcher Chris Westervelt singled, before right fielder Pete Rasmusen belted a two-run home run over the right-center field fence to give the Hatters their first lead of the night.
Stetson added an insurance run in the top of the 8th inning against Tech reliever Jeff Watchko, as Ian Church reached on a two-out error by shortstop Tyler Greene, advanced to second on a walk to Rusty Beale, and came around to score on an infield single by John DeStefano, increasing the lead to 5-2.
Tech (44-17) closed to within 5-4 in the bottom of the 8th, as left fielder Matt Murton reached safely with one out on an error by Wilson, in front of a two-run home run by first baseman Clifton Remole. Blair retired the final two batters in the eighth, and first in the ninth, before giving way to Stetson closer Roger Lincoln, who set down the final two batters to earn his ninth save of the season.
Blair (3-2) allowed four runs, three earned, while scattering just five hits, and striking out a career-high 10 batters over 8.1 innings of work. Owings allowed four runs and nine hits, while walking three and striking out three over 6.1 innings.
The Jackets took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, as Stephen Blackwood doubled, and came around to score on an RBI single by Murton. The lead was increased to 2-0 in the fourth, as Micah Owings blasted his team-leading 15th home run of the season.