Feb. 28, 2009
ATLANTA – Deck McGuire worked eight strong innings while Matt Skole and Tony Plagman both homered to lead No. 8 Georgia Tech (5-1) to a 6-4 win over Rutgers (1-4) in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader at Russ Chandler Stadium.
McGuire (2-0) limited the Scarlet Knights to just one run on four hits and struck out seven while working a career-long eight innings to pick up his second win of the season. The victory was McGuire’s 10th in the last two seasons, moving him to the top of Tech’s annals for winning percentage, with a 10-1 record in his career.
The Scarlet Knights mounted a comeback in the top of the ninth, plating three runs on run-scoring hits by Jayson Hernandez and Luis Feliz, but closer Mark Pope struck out Jarred Jimenez on four pitches to pick up his second save in as many games.
With McGuire holding the Rutgers hitters at bay, Skole ignited the Yellow Jacket offense with a two-run home run – his team-leading fourth of the season – to put the Jackets ahead, 3-0, in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Tech scored three more runs in the eighth inning, highlighted by a two-run homer by Plagman – his first of the year, – to make the score 6-1. Jeff Rowland added a sacrifice fly for the third run in the frame. Both Plagman and Rowland finished with two hits in the game.
McGuire faced the minimum through four innings before Jaren Matthews led off the fifth with a single through the infield. The Yellow Jacket sophomore then retired the next three batters in order to keep his scoreless inning streak alive.
The Scarlet Knights snapped the streak two frames later with when Hernandez’ sacrifice fly plated Dan Betteridge with two outs in the top of the seventh inning. The run snapped McGuire’s streak at 16.0 consecutive innings without allowing a run and narrowed Tech leads to two runs, 3-1.
Betteridge and Matthews led the Scarlet Knights with two hits apiece.
Casey Gaynor (0-2) suffered his second loss of the season after yielding three runs on nine hits to the Yellow Jackets. He lasted just 5.1 innings before Skole’s home run chased him from the game.
The Jackets and Scarlet Knights will begin the second game of today’s doubleheader at approximately 4:20 p.m. The game can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), while live stats are available at Ramblinwreck.com.