March 11, 2009
ATLANTA – Tony Plagman’s three-run home run in the third inning to broke a 1-1 tie, and Kevin Jacob pitched eight strong innings as No. 6 Georgia Tech (11-1) defeated Kennesaw State (5-6), 5-4, on Wednesday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets held off a frantic Kennesaw State ninth inning rally to extend their winning streak to eight games.
Jacob improved to 2-0 in as many starts after holding the Owls to two runs in a career -high eight innings. He struck out a career-high seven batters, allowing just six hits and two walks.
“Kevin has a great arm, and I thought that he pitched really well tonight,” head coach Danny Hall said. “It was the best performance that I’ve seen out of him this year. If he gets anything other than his fastball over, he is very hard to hit, particularly in the later innings.”
Trailing 5-2, KSU mounted a rally in the ninth inning. After two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out, pinch hitter Jace Whitmer delivered a RBI groundout and two batters later, Martin Baker was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to trim the Tech lead to 5-4. But Tech closer Mark Pope struck out Tyler Stubblefield to end the game and earn his fourth save of the season.
“Give them a lot of credit,” Hall added. “They got a couple of hits and then Mark hit their guy, which you don’t want to see in the ninth inning. But to his credit, he held his composure and struck Stubblefield out to finish the game.”
Kennesaw State starter Justin Edwards (1-2) took the loss, allowing five runs in six innings.
The Owls took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on Stubblefield’s RBI single.
Tech’s Jason Haniger tied the game with a two-out RBI single in bottom of the inning. Plagman, the next hitter, deposited the first pitch he saw over the center field wall to stake the Jackets to a 4-1 lead on his team-leading fifth home run of the season.
“Plagman has been swinging a very good bat for us, and that was a key part of the game since it gave us a comfortable lead,” Hall said. “They did a good job of shutting us down after that.”
Jay Dantzler extended Tech’s lead to 5-1 in the sixth inning with a solo home run, his third of the year.
KSU closed to within 5-2 in the seventh inning when Curtis Van Wyck doubled and scored on Bucky Smith’s RBI groundout, setting the stage for the Owls’ comeback effort in the ninth inning.
The Jackets return to conference action this weekend when Boston College visits Russ Chandler Stadium for a three-game series. The Jackets and Eagles open the series Friday at 6 p.m., and first pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday. The two teams will wrap up the weekend Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games can be heard on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), while live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.