May 17, 2011
ATLANTA – East Tennessee State (35-17) took advantage of some miscues by the Georgia Tech (37-16) bullpen, and Derek Niesman drove in two runs with two outs in the ninth-inning to lead the Buccaneers to an 8-6 win over the Yellow Jackets on Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The win gave East Tennessee State its first ever victory over Georgia Tech in 24 tries. The Jackets carried a 23-0 record in the all-time series entering the game.
The Tech relievers had some control issues on Tuesday, issuing five walks and two costly errors. Three of the walks were issued to leadoff hitters in the seventh, eighth and ninth inning, two of them coming around to score runs. Five of ETSU’s eight runs went unearned after Tech committed four errors total in the game.
After senior pitcher Taylor Wood’s freebie to ETSU’s Derek Trent in the ninth put the leadoff runner on, freshman Dusty Isaacs made a throwing error two batters later on a grounder back to him as he went for the lead runner at second base. A walk to Michael Gonzalez with two outs in the inning loaded the bases before Niesman singled a 3-2 pitch through the left side for the eventual game-winning runs.
Wood (0-2) was credited with the loss after facing just one batter in the inning.
ETSU’s Dak Rissman (5-2) earned the win in two innings of relief. Rissman had three strikeouts while holding the Jackets hitless after coming out of the bullpen.
The Jackets took an early 2-0 lead on a RBI double to right field by freshman Mott Hyde in the first inning, followed by a run scoring single up the middle from freshman Kyle Wren in the second frame.
Tech extended its lead to four on a two-run homer to right field by freshman Daniel Palka an inning later off of ETSU starter Clinton Freeman.
After giving up eight hits through the first three innings, Freeman settled down to hold Tech without a base-knock over the next three innings.
Tech’s Matthew Grimes started just the opposite, giving up just three hits through the first five frames. Grimes would allow back-to-back singles to the Buccaneers Bo Reeder and Paul Hoilman in the sixth, before Derek Trent sent a three-run shot to right field that cut the lead to 4-3.
Classmate DeAndre Smelter relieved Grimes in the sixth, and issued a leadoff walk that brought issues for the Jackets. Smelter’s throwing error on a sac bunt by Andrew Green put runners on the corners on the next at-bat, before Reeder tied the game with an RBI single to right field. Dylan Pratt’s sacrifice fly to left field a batter later pushed the lead to 6-4.
Junior Matt Skole tied it up in the bottom half of the seventh with a two-run homer to right center off of Freeman. Skole was 3-for-5 with two runs scored, the home run and two RBI against the team coached by his uncle, Tony Skole.
The Jackets will conclude the regular season with a three-game series at Virginia Tech, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Blacksburg, Va. The series continues at 5:30 p.m. Friday and will finish with a 2 p.m. first pitch on Saturday.