April 6, 2010
ATLANTA – Mark Pope scattered four hits over eight innings, while Matt Skole and Chase Burnette hit home runs to lead the second-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (26-3, 11-1 ACC) over Kennesaw State (13-18, 4-5 A-Sun), 8-2, Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The eight innings were a career high for Pope, who improved to 4-0 on the season with the win. The sophomore right-hander struck out six batters, allowing just two runs to cross the plate.
“Mark [Pope] threw the ball well tonight,” head coach Danny Hall said. “The only bad pitch he threw was the home run ball. I thought he was in total command for eight strong innings, and he kept them totally off-balance.”
Junior Derek Dietrich had three hits for the third consecutive game, leading Tech at the plate. Senior Tony Plagman added two hits and two RBI, while Skole had two hits of his own, including his 10th home run of the season.
“They [Kennesaw State] threw the same pitcher (as they did last Wednesday) and he did a great job against us [at Kennesaw]. I thought we’d have better approaches and be ready for him tonight, and I think we were,” Hall added.
A sac fly to left field by Kennesaw State’s Josh Whitaker gave the Owls a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Tech responded in the bottom half, scoring runs on a sac fly by Plagman, a grounder to second by Cole Leonida, and a solo home run by Skole to right field that made it 3-1.
Plagman brought in his second run of the game in the third, with a grounder to first that held up long enough to score Rowland from third.
Pope went on to retire 11 straight batters, before KSU’s Drew Fowlkes sent a home run to right field that cut the lead to 4-2.
Chase Burnette would answer later in the inning with a home run of his own, a two-run shot to right-center off of Kennesaw State starter Zak Griffith for a 6-2 cushion. It was the 10th homer of the season for Burnette, as he has gone yard in three of Tech’s last four games.
Griffith fell to 1-2 on the season with the loss, allowing six runs on five hits in 3.0 innings pitched.
The Jackets closed out the scoring with two runs in the eighth, both coming on a two-RBI single to center by Thomas Nichols.
Pope held the Owls to just one hit in his final four innings, before giving way to freshman Buck Farmer in the 9th.
Farmer struck out three Kennesaw State batters to end the game.
The Jackets hit the road this weekend, with a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series against third-ranked Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. First pitch is at 7 p.m. Friday.