April 15, 2011
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Junior Mark Pope held Wake Forest to one hit, tossing his fourth complete game of the season in No. 9 Georgia Tech’s 5-1 win over the Demon Deacons Friday night at Gene Hooks Field. Due to impending weather in the forecast, Saturday’s game has been moved to a 6 p.m. start.
The Yellow Jackets (26-9) improved to 13-3 in Atlantic Coast Conference play, while Wake Forest (13-22) fell to 5-11 in the league.
Pope’s one-hitter was the first by a Georgia Tech pitcher in a nine-inning game since May 22, 1997, when Kris Wilson yielded just one hit to Tennessee Tech at the NCAA Mideast Regional in Starkville, Miss.
“I can’t say enough about him, “Hall said. “He [Mark Pope] pitched great and kept them off-balance all night. He gave up the one hit [to James Harris], a kid from Etowah High School, but after that I thought he was really tough.”
The Marietta, Ga. native had eight strikeouts on the night, improving to 8-1 on the season with the win. His lone blemish was an inside fastball that Wake Forest’s James Harris hit over the wall in right field in the third inning.
Pope went on to retire 16 of the next 18 batters for his fourth complete game of the season.
“I felt really good tonight,” Pope said. “All of my off-speed stuff was working really well so that was a plus coming in. He [Harris] was sitting on my fastball and waiting on it, so there was really nothing I could do about that pitch.”
Freshman Kyle Wren led the Jackets at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a pair of runs. He extended his conference-leading hit total to 62 on the season.
Wren began the third inning with a single to center field before scoring later in the frame on a RBI single to left field by junior Jake Davies for a 1-0 lead.
Wren’s second hit of the game came on a perfect bunt down the third base line in the fifth inning. It would eventually pay off, as he raced home from first on a double down the left field line by junior Jacob Esch on ensuing at-bat.
Matt Skole would deliver an RBI sac fly to right field to extend the lead to 3-1.
Wake Forest starter Brian Holmes was replaced to start the eighth inning by Niko Spezial after allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings. Holmes was credited with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits over seven innings.
Tech immediately went after Spezial, leading off the frame with a single by Skole and a double by Davies. Davies had a pair of hits on the night.
Freshman catcher Zane Evans drove in both runners with a single up the middle to make it 5-1 and close out the scoring.