May 7, 2010
ATLANTA – Derek Dietrich and Jeff Rowland reached base in every at-bat, and senior Tony Plagman drove in the go-ahead run with his 200th-career RBI to lead the fifth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (37-9) over Illinois-Chicago (17-24), 8-4, Friday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Dietrich (4-for-4, RBI) and Rowland (3-for-3, 3 runs, 3 RBI) paced the Jackets at the plate, as Dietrich hit two doubles and Rowland added a triple and home run while coming up a double short of the cycle. In addition to reaching base on every at-bat, Rowland scored all three times.
“That’s my job,” said Rowland when asked about reaching base in every at-bat. “Coach Hall wants me to get on anyway I can. I just try to see pitches and if I am able to get a pitch that I can handle and drive, then so be it. My main focus is just to get on base and let guys drive me in.”
Junior right-hander Deck McGuire (6-3) recorded the win on the mound Friday. McGuire allowed three earned runs on seven hits in 6.0 innings, striking out six on the evening.
The Richmond, Va. native held UIC to just three hits through the first five innings, but the Flames attacked for four in the sixth to score three runs and go up 4-3 on the Jackets.
Tech responded in the bottom half, tying it on an RBI single to right field by Dietrich, before Plagman sent a sac fly to center that scored Rowland from third to give the Jackets a 5-4 lead. Plagman brought in the go-ahead run with his 200th career RBI, and now sits alone in eighth place on the all-time list at Tech.
“Tony is a great hitter, and great player,” said head coach Danny Hall of Plagman. “He works extremely hard, and I am happy for him. If you get 200 RBIs in a career, you are doing something right.”
Rowland put the game out of reach in the seventh, with his ninth homer of the season. His three-run shot to left field off of Flames’ reliever Brad Reigler scored teammates Thomas Nichols and Jason Garofalo.
Reigler fell to 2-2 on the season with the loss. He allowed five runs – four earned – on five hits in 3.1 innings.
The Jackets received solid outings from the bullpen to close out the game. Senior Patrick Long struck out five of the six batters faced in the seventh and eighth and senior Andrew Robinson allowed just one hit to close it out in the ninth. Long’s five strikeouts were a career-high.
The series continues Saturday at 6 p.m., as junior Brandon Cumpton takes the mound for Tech.