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Radford Downs Georgia Tech, 3-1

Feb. 15, 2014

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THE FLATS – Georgia Tech brought the go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh inning, and had the tying run at the plate in the eighth and ninth but couldn’t generate the equalizer and fell to Radford, 3-1, Saturday as the Battle In Midtown continued at Russ Chandler Stadium.

The Yellow Jackets slipped to 1-1 on the young season and will cap the Battle In Midtown Sunday at 2 p.m. by battling VCU (2-0), which defeated Old Dominion earlier on Saturday 6-3. Radford improved to 1-1.

A.J. Murray hammered a lead-off triple off the left-field wall in the seventh, extending his hitting streak to 10 games dating back to last season and putting the Jackets 90 feet away from tying the game at 2-2. But Tech went in order after that.

The Highlanders increased their lead to 3-1 in the eighth, and in the bottom half freshman LF Keenan Innis drew a lead-off walk before being erased with a double play. Mott Hyde’s infield single with one out gave the Jackets life in the ninth, but RU’s Michael Costello got the final two outs to slam the door on the hosts.

Costello allowed Tech’s only two hits and picked up the save after a gem by starter Dylan Nelson, a sophomore righty who went six innings to defeat then-No. 4 Virginia last season in Charlottesville, 9-8. Nelson tossed a no-hitter over his six innings of work with six strikeouts. He yielded two walks and a run to earn the victory Saturday.

“You’ve got to credit Nelson,” said head coach Danny Hall. “He pitched a very good game, had his ball sinking. We had some chances and just couldn’t get that hit to close him out of there.”

The Yellow Jackets scratched the scoreboard first though, working a pair of walks around a hit-by-pitch in the fourth inning to load the bases for Matt Gonzalez, whose sacrifice fly to center made it 1-0. Tech was unable to increase the lead, and Radford drew even an inning later with Patrick Marshall’s RBI single.

Chris Coia delivered an RBI single in the sixth to put the visitors in front for good, and Radford tacked on insurance in the eighth with an RBI fielder’s choice from Josh Gardiner. Marshall, Alexander Lee and Blake Sipe each had two of Radford’s 11 hits.

Junior righty Cole Pitts gave the Jackets a solid start, but was aided by just a run of support. Pitts worked five innings, allowed six hits with three strikeouts and no walks. Freshman Zac Ryan was hung the decision in relief. Senior Alex Cruz was effective in two scoreless innings of relief with three punchouts.

Sunday’s schedule at Russ Chandler Stadium opens with Radford and Old Dominion battling at 10 a.m., followed by Tech and VCU in the finale.


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