April 22, 2011
ATLANTA – Junior Mark Pope tossed his fourth career complete game shutout, while junior Jacob Esch drove in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning to lift No. 9 Georgia Tech (28-11, 15-4 ACC) over Boston College (14-21, 6-12 ACC), 2-0, in the series opener on Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Pope’s complete game was his fifth of the season, and the sixth of his career. His four career complete-game shutouts are a modern era record. Craig Day (1903-1906) and Ed LaFitte (1906-1907) each had six in the early 1900’s.
The junior from Marietta, Ga. scattered eight hits over the nine innings, and improved his record to 9-1 on the season. He recorded five strikeouts, and did not issue any walks.
The Jackets faced seven different Boston College pitchers on the night, and were held to just five hits. Tech capitalized on two of them in the fourth inning, however, to score the only runs of the game.
Esch’s two-out, bases-loaded RBI single to shortstop broke a scoreless tie and brought home the go-ahead run for the Jackets off of Boston College reliever Matt Alvarez. Esch beat out the throw by BC’s Brad Zapenas to reach first and extend the inning.
The single scored freshman Daniel Palka, who was walked to leadoff the inning by relief pitcher Hunter Gordon.
Gordon was credited with the loss and fell to 1-2 on the season. He worked 1 1/3 innings on the night.
Tech scored another run on the next at-bat for a 2-0 lead, as a wild pitch by reliever Matt Alvarez allowed sophomore Brandon Thomas to race home from third.
After allowing a bloop double in the sixth inning, Pope went on to retire 10 of the next 11 batters to end the game. He has recorded a complete game in three of his last four starts.
The series will continue on Saturday with a 3 p.m. start at Russ Chandler Stadium.