May 20, 2006
ATLANTA – Luke Murton hit a three-run homer and Matt Wieters added a two-run shot as No. 7 Georgia Tech (42-14, 19-11 ACC) defeated visiting No. 16 Miami (35-19, 17-13), 12-7, in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets won two of three games in the series to clinch the No. 4 seed in next week’s Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Jacksonville, Fla. Georgia Tech, which faces Miami at 4 p.m. Wednesday, finished the regular season by winning nine of its last 11 games.
“I think we’ve had a tremendous regular season with all the adversity we’ve had to battle through,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall. “We’ve beaten some awfully good, ranked teams, we play in a great league and we have a very high RPI.”
“Wally’s done a tremendous job,” said Hall. “He’s a very accomplished hitter, and he seems to have a flair for the dramatic.”
Brad Rulon (5-0) earned the win out of the Tech bullpen. Wieters pitched the final two innings and struck out four batters to close out the game.
“He’s throwing great,” Hall said of Wieters. “We haven’t pitched him as much this year, but I would trust that guy in any situation.”
Miami’s Danny Gil (2-2) took the loss after allowing four runs in 1.1 innings.
The Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Wally Crancer reached on a two-base error by Miami left fielder Dennis Raben to lead off the inning and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Andy Hawranick. Crancer scored on a squeeze bunt by Michael Fisher.
Luke Murton made the score 4-0 in the fourth inning with a three-run homer, his second of the year. Jeff Kindel and Whit Robbins had back-to-back one-out singles before Murton hit his shot over the right center field wall.
A two-run homer from Matt Wieters, his eighth of the season, gave the Yellow Jackets a 6-0 lead in the fifth inning.
Miami got back into the game with a three-run sixth inning that made the score 6-3. Danny Valencia led off the inning with a solo home run, his sixth of the year. The Hurricanes loaded the bases with two outs on two singles and a walk, and Jemile Weeks delivered a two-run single. Miami had a chance to pull closer when an error loaded the bases for the second time in the inning, but Tim Ladd retired Jon Jay on a foul out to end the threat.
Valencia and Yonder Alonso led off the seventh inning with singles and Richard O’Brien tied the game at 6-6 with a three-run homer, his fifth of the year.
Georgia Tech answered with four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to retake the lead, 10-6. The Yellow Jackets batted around, including a two-run single from Crancer and RBI singles from Kindel and Robbins.
Tommy Giles hit a solo home run, his eighth of the year, to pull the Hurricanes to within 10-7 in the eighth inning.
The Yellow Jackets added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to provide the final 12-7 margin. Murton plated a run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, and Crancer had a RBI groundout.
Neither starting pitcher figured in the decision. Tech’s Ryan Turner worked 5.1 innings and allowed three runs and struck out six batters in 5.1 innings. Miami’s Manny Miguelez was charged for four runs in 3.1 innings.