Feb. 24, 2013
THE FLATS – Sophomore Cole Pitts gave No. 20 Georgia Tech an impressive start Sunday and the offense answered with double-digit runs for the third time this season as the Yellow Jackets took the series from St. John’s with a 10-1 victory at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Pitts allowed just four hits and a run in six strong innings to improve 2-0. The sophomore righty from Moultrie, Ga., struck out four, walked two and rolled a pair of double plays to get out of the first and second innings.
“I had my cutter working well for me,” said Pitts, who has won four of his last five starts dating back to last season. “I got a feel for my change-up later in the game and got a couple more strikeouts with that pitch after I got command of it.”
Pitts retired the last seven batters he faced with three strikeouts. Alex Cruz, Jonathan Roberts and Zane Evans each tossed a scoreless inning of relief to slam the door on Tech’s (6-1) second series win in as many weekends.
“I like throwing on Sundays” said Pitts. “Sometimes it’s 1-1 going into Sunday or we’re going for the sweep so I like it being on my shoulders.”
Tech out-hit St. John’s 11-6, getting three-hit efforts from freshman Matt Gonzalez and junior Daniel Palka. Gonzalez was 3-for-4, scored twice and cleared the bases with a three-run double as the Jackets pulled away with a five-run fifth inning.
“We made good adjustments (after yesterday),” said head coach Danny Hall. “St. John’s is always a very good pitching ball club, and today in the situations we had a chance to score, we had much better at bats.”
The Jackets jumped on the visitors in the first inning, scoring twice and marking the fifth time in six games that they have score in the first. Kyle Wren got things started by shooting a lead-off double into right field. Brandon Thomas’ RBI single opened the scoring and Zane Evans followed later that inning with the first of his two RBI.
St. John’s (1-6) sliced the deficit in half in the fourth with an RBI from Frank Schwindel, but the Jackets got that run back in the bottom half when Mott Hyde drove in Gonzalez, and put the game out of reach with a five-run fifth. In the fifth, Palka and Connor Lynch drove in runs and Gonzalez’s third double this season cleared the bases.
Evans and Michael Hodorowski plated Tech’s runs in the eighth, each with sacrifice flies, to cap the scoring. For Hodorowski, it marked his first career RBI.
Ryan McCormick was tagged the loss for the Red Storm, allowing six hits and three runs in four innings. Schwindel was 2-for-3.
Tech returns to action Tuesday and Wednesday with a key early-season non-conference match-up with Georgia Southern in Statesboro. The Eagles are off to a 4-2 start after taking a season-opening series from Georgia and winning on the road at Florida earlier this week.
The games Tuesday and Wednesday begin at 6 p.m. and can be heard live on WREK 91.1 FM in Atlanta.