Feb. 18, 2012
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Sophomore Dusty Isaacs gave No. 9 Georgia Tech seven strong innings, and sophomore 1B Daniel Palka ignited the offense as the Yellow Jackets beat Kent State, 6-2, Saturday afternoon at the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Classic.
Due to impending weather Sunday, Tech and Winthrop will attempt to play the final game of the weekend tonight at 7 p.m. – following a game between Winthrop and Kent State.
Isaacs was in command in his second career start, allowing just five singles, two runs (one earned) with one walk and three strikeouts in his longest-career outing.
Palka finished the game three-for-four, was a double shy of the cycle and scored a career-best four runs, while Paul Kronenfeld had two hits and drove in a career-high three runs for the Yellow Jackets (2-1), who avenged Friday’s 5-0 loss to the Golden Flashes (1-1).
The native of Lebanon, Ohio, Issacs fired six scoreless innings, including four 1-2-3 frames, and faced just one batter over the minimum through six. Kent State scratched across two runs in the seventh thanks to three consecutive singles and a sac fly, but got nothing more.
Junior closer Luke Bard, who was named to the Stopper of the Year Award preseason watch list, fired the final two innings to finish off the Isaacs’ second career win.
Palka got things rolling in the second when he beat the Kent State shift with a laser up the first-base line that rattled around in the corner. The sophomore legged out his fourth career triple, and quickly scored thanks to Evans’ RBI ground out to put Tech up 1-0.
The Jackets extended the lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Palka reached on an error, moved to third on Evans’ single to right and Kronenfeld cleared the bases with a double into the right-field power alley.
Wren tripled and Thomas grounded out to make it 4-0 in the fifth. Kronenfeld came through again in the sixth when his RBI single to right scoring Palka, who reached on a single and moved to third on a failed pick off.
Palka’s 13th career home run – a bomb to right that led off the eighth inning — answered Kent State’s seventh-inning runs and capped the scoring.
When Tech faces Winthrop at 7 p.m. Saturday, it will mark the first time since 1976 that the Yellow Jackets have played back-to-back doubleheaders to open a season.