Feb. 19, 2010
ATLANTA – Leadoff home runs from senior Tony Plagman and junior Jeff Rowland, combined with a five-hit performance by pitcher Deck McGuire lifted the sixth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team to a 4-0 win over Missouri State in the season opener Friday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
“It was a clean game, both starters really pitched well,” head coach Danny Hall said. “We had to battle hard on [Aaron] Meade. Jeff Rowland starting the game with a home run was big for us, gave us at least a little cushion, and then Tony [Plagman] had a big hit there late and gave us even more cushion. All told, it was a great start.”
McGuire (1-0) was outstanding on the day, fanning 10 batters in seven innings of work, allowing just five hits and issuing no walks. It was his second-straight season opener recording double-digit strikeouts, as he posted a career high 13 just one year ago against Lipscomb.
Tech got on board on the very first at bat of the season, as Rowland sent a pitch from Missouri State lefty Aaron Meade over the wall in right center for a 1-0 lead. The home run for Rowland was the 13th of his career, and marked the second straight year he hit one out of the park in the season opener.
Both McGuire and Meade were locked in a pitchers duel for the next five innings, before the Jackets broke through with another home run to start the bottom of the sixth by Plagman. Plagman’s 35th career homer put Tech up 2-0.
Sophomore Matt Skole doubled to centerfield on the next at bat before Meade (0-1) was pulled, allowing two runs on five hits in five innings pitched.
Plagman made it 3-0 in the next inning with a two-out RBI double down the right field line that scored Rowland from third. The senior from Alpharetta, Ga. ended the day going 2-for-4 with 2 RBI, and extended his current hit streak to five games.
The Jackets tacked on the final run in the bottom of the eighth when sophomore Jacob Esch, who made his first career start at second base Friday, brought home junior Derek Dietrich from third with a single right to make it 4-0. The hit and RBI for Esch were the first of his career.
The series continues Saturday as junior Brandon Cumpton will square off on the mound against Missouri State senior Pat Doyle at 2 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.