|Georgia Tech’s Charles Aulet pitches in the second inning against Georgia Southern in the NCAA regionals Friday, May 26, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis)|
ATLANTA (May 26, AP) – Georgia Tech’s Jason Basil hit a three-run homer and Bryan Prince and had four hits and three RBIs as the No. 1-ranked Yellow Jackets beat Georgia Southern 11-9 in the first round of the NCAA Atlanta Regional.
Tech reliever Jeff Watchko gave up a run and loaded the bases in the top of the ninth but struck out out J.R. Revere and got John Durik to pop up to end Friday’s game.
“When we needed him he got two outs,” Tech coach Danny Hall said. “It wasn’t like we were making errors or he was walking people. Georgia Southern just hit the ball in the last two innings.”
The Jackets will face Stetson, which downed Auburn 9-5, on Saturday.
Tech (48-14) peppered Georgia Southern starter David Ray with 12 hits and 11 runs over five innings to win its sixth straight game.
The Eagles (38-22) put up three first-inning runs against Tech starter Rhett Parrott, who settled down and only allowed three runs on four hits over the next six innings. Parrott (8-2) retired 12 of 13 batters at one stretch, striking out two and walking two, for the win.
Basil, who has 11 hits in his last 15 plate appearances, made his big play in the fifth, but also added a single and four RBIs.
Ray (12-3) suffered the loss for Georgia Southern, which got seven hits from Nos. 3 and 4 hitters Scott Henley and Dustin Langley.
Georgia Southern, which plays Auburn in an elimination round, brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the eighth, but Tech center fielder Wes Rynders hauled in Henley’s drive at the wall.
“When the ball left the bat I thought it had a chance, but when I saw Rynders going after it I knew it was probably going to stay in the park,” Southern coach Rodney Hennon said.