May 2, 2009
ATLANTA – Jeff Rowland led off the bottom of the 10th inning with a walk-off home run to lift No. 10 Georgia Tech (30-11-1) to a 9-8 win over Presbyterian (10-33) Saturday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Rowland offered at the first pitch he saw from reliever Andrew Foushee (1-6) to give Tech its second victory in the series and 30 wins in a season for the 27th-straight year.
Yellow Jacket reliever Mark Pope (5-1) entered the game with two on and one out in the top of the ninth inning and struck out designated hitter Tony Micklon. After an intentional walk loaded the bases for the Blue Hose, Pope struck out Zach Rhinesmith to get the Jackets out of the jam. He then worked a 1-2-3 10th inning to pick up his fifth win of the season.
Rowland was one of four Yellow Jackets to homer on the day, and Tech has hit nine home runs in the first two games of the series against Presbyterian. Eight of the Jackets’ nine runs in the game came off the long ball.
Evan Martin led the Yellow Jackets with a career-high three hits on the day while Luke Murton went 2-for-2 with three walks and three runs scored. Derek Dietrich also added two hits against the Blue Hose.
A leadoff walk led to a run for the Blue Hose in the top of the first inning, but an RBI single by Jason Haniger evened the score at 1-1 in the bottom of the frame.
Presbyterian scored two more runs in the second inning on a misplayed bunt by Matt Skole and an RBI groundout by Gabe Grammer, but Skole redeemed himself with a three-run home run in the third inning to give Tech a 4-3 lead in the game. The home run was the 12th of the season for Skole.
Murton gave the Yellow Jackets a two-run cushion with a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth. The round-tripper was Murton’s 13th of the season and the 40th of the right fielder’s career, placing him in a tie for eighth place in Tech’s career record books.
The Blue Hose re-gained the lead with a three-run sixth inning that chased Tech starter Zach Von Tersch. Presbyterian scored its three runs on just one hit while Tech committed one error and walked a pair of Blue Hose batters in the frame.
Von Tersch gave up six runs – only three of which were earned – on six hits while walking three and striking out three in five-plus innings of work. He did not figure into the decision.
Andrew Robinson and Zach Brewster both made scoreless appearances in relief for the Jackets. Robinson worked the first two outs of the sixth inning before giving way to Brewster, who struck out two of the four batters he faced. The Tech left hander looked to be in line for the win after the Jackets took an 8-6 lead on a three-run home run by Chase Burnette in the bottom of the seventh, but the Blue Hose tied the game with a two-run homer from Andrew Williams in the top of the eighth inning.
The Jackets loaded the bases against the Blue Hose in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Foushee struck out Tony Plagman and forced a long flyout from Haniger to end the threat.
Georgia Tech will go for the series sweep Sunday when it hosts Presbyterian at 1 p.m. The game can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org) while live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.