Feb. 19, 2011
ATLANTA – The 19th-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team used a solid pitching effort, allowing just four total hits in an 8-1 series clinching win over Kent State Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The entire Georgia Tech (2-0) pitching staff combined for 14 total strikeouts, paced by 10 from by junior Jed Bradley to put the clamps on the Golden Flashes’ (0-2) offense.
Bradley’s only blemish came in the sixth inning, when he allowed an RBI single to right field by Kent State’s Ben Klafczynski that tied the game at 1-1. Bradley scattered four hits over 5.2 innings, but did not record a decision after exiting the game with two on and two outs in the sixth.
“I really would have liked to stay in and get one more out,” Bradley said. “But I have confidence in any player on our staff and I know that they will come in and get an out any time we need it.”
Freshman pitcher DeAndre Smelter (1-0) picked up the win after holding Kent State hitless over 1.1 innings. The Macon, Ga. native entered for Bradley and struck out Kent State’s Cody Koch to end the inning. He had two strikeouts in his first career appearance on the mound.
“I thought all three of the freshman relievers did a tremendous job today,” head coach Danny Hall said. I am glad I was able to get those guys in and I thought they threw the ball very well.”
Head coach Danny Hall switched things up at the bottom of the order Saturday, starting three new players in junior Jake Davies and freshmen Alex Cruz and Paul Kronenfeld. Cruz and Kronenfeld made the first start of their collegiate careers.
The payoff was big, as the tandem put together three straight hits on two key occasions to lift the Tech offense.
“I think we have a lot of guys capable of playing, so it’s nice to be able to get them in there if they go out and capitalize,” head coach Danny Hall said. “All three of those guys contributed greatly today.”
In the fourth inning, the trio combined to give Tech a 1-0 lead as Kronenfeld singled up the middle to score Davies from third.
Davies, Cruz and Kronenfeld connected once again in the sixth inning, this time loading the bases with one out to setup a five-run frame. Freshman Kyle Wren drew a walk on the next at-bat off of Kent State reliever Casey Wilson for the go-ahead run.
Freshman Mott Hyde was walked right after Wren, and junior Jacob Esch double to right field for two more before freshman Daniel Palka’s sac fly RBI to centerfield closed out the inning and put the game out of reach. Kent State starter Ryan Mace was dealt the loss after allowing four runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings of work.
The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium. Sophomore Buck Farmer will face Kent State’s David Starn.