April 24, 2009
CLEMSON, S.C. – Luke Murton’s two-run home run broke a 3-3 tie in the third inning, and the Georgia Tech pitching trio of Deck McGuire, Jake Davies and Zach Brewster held No. 20 Clemson to one run over the final eight innings to pull out a 5-4 win Friday night at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The Tigers (28-15, 12-10 ACC) narrowed the lead to one run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Brewster forced a flyout from Ben Paulson to end the threat. The Tech lefty then struck out all three Clemson batters in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn the first save of his career while helping the Yellow Jackets (28-9-1, 14-5-1 ACC) to their 14th conference win of the season.
“Clemson has a lot of left-handed hitters, so we felt like Davies and Brewster would be very key for us this weekend,” head coach Danny Hall said. “Jake got us a lot of outs, and I felt like he’d done his job. When Schaus came up again, I didn’t want him to have to go through the order a second time so we brought in Brewster to change the look while still keeping a lefty in there. Both of those guys just did their job.”
Clemson loaded the bases in the bottom of the first inning, and Brad Miller promptly cleared them with a three-run double to the left field gap. A walk and a wild pitch then put Tigers on second and third, but McGuire worked out of the jam by forcing a groundout from John Nester for the third out of the frame.
McGuire improved to 7-0 on the season, giving up just the three first-inning runs. Clemson worked only four hits off the Tech ace, who walked seven Tiger batters on the night.
Tech plated five runs in the third to take a 5-3 lead. Evan Martin led off the inning with a triple before Clemson starter Chris Dwyer hit Jeff Rowland to put runners on first and third. Rowland took third on Derek Dietrich’s second single of the day and scored on a balk by Dwyer. Jason Haniger walked to again put runners on the corners before a sacrifice fly off the bat of Tony Plagman tied the game at 3-3. Murton then followed with his home run – his 12th of the season – to put the Jackets up by two runs.
“We were down after giving up three in the first,” Hall said. “But then Evan started us off with the big triple. It ended up turning into a big inning, which was capped by Murton’s home run.
“It was good to get the lead. Anytime that you are on the road in front of a crowd like this and get the lead, it kind of quiets them for a bit.”
Murton’s homer chased Dwyer (4-4) from the game, and the Clemson lefty suffered his fourth loss of the season after giving up the five runs on four hits in his 2-1/3 innings of work.
Dietrich and Murton led Tech with three hits on the night.
Davies entered the game in the bottom of the sixth and worked 2-1/3 solid innings before being lifted in the eighth. The Tech freshman yielded just three hits and struck out two.
Tech and Clemson continue the three-game series Saturday in Clemson. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., and 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.