April 26, 2011
ATLANTA – For eight innings the Georgia Tech (30-12) pitching staff tossed a gem. But the Georgia Bulldogs (22-20) took advantage of the one tough inning for the Yellow Jacket hurlers and claimed a 6-4 win over Tech in the regular-season series finale in front of 18,156 fans at Turner Field on Tuesday night.
The victory for Georgia ended Georgia Tech’s five-game win streak in the series, and was the first for the Bulldogs over the Yellow Jackets since the 2009 season. It also eliminated a series sweep by Tech for the second straight season.
Earning the win for Georgia was relief pitcher Bryan Benzor (2-0), tossing three innings while allowing one run on two hits. Tyler Maloof recorded the final three outs for the Bulldogs to tally his 14th save of the year.
Freshman Matthew Grimes (5-3), who had claimed two wins in the year’s first two games against Georgia, suffered the loss for Tech. Grimes went three and two-thirds, allowing five runs, five hits and three walks.
“I honestly thought he [Grimes] threw the ball pretty good,” head coach Danny Hall said. “But in the big inning, he threw too many balls up in the zone and too many in the middle of the plate, and they capitalized on them. It looked like we were going to get out of there but [Kyle] Farmer got a big two out hit and then came up later in the game and got another two out hit.
“The difference in the game was that we couldn’t get any two-out hits and they seemed to get them when they needed them.”
The Yellow Jackets put a pair of runs on the board in the home half of the second inning. Freshman Daniel Palka ripped a double down the right field line, followed by free passes to classmates Zane Evans and Mott Hyde. Sophomore Brandon Thomas reached on a chopper over the mound, allowing Palka to score from third. On the next pitch, Georgia’s Ben Cornwell threw a wild pitch and Evans raced in to put the Jackets up 2-0.
Grimes had retired nine of the first 12 Georgia he faced batters, including five on strikes, but was chased from the game in the top half of the fourth with three runs. Zach Cone walked, stole second and scored on a Jonathan Hester single up the middle. Georgia added a pair of runs when Levi Hyams singled to right, driving in Hester and Kevin Ruiz.
The Bulldog half inning stayed alive with a Farmer single to right, which brought home Georgia’s Curt Powell and Hyams, giving the visitors from Athens a 5-2 lead.
The Jackets added a third run in the bottom of the fourth on a Hyde sac fly to right, which drove in Palka.
Palka pulled Tech within 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth with a two-out home run to right field, his eighth round tripper of the season.
Hyams reached on a single to right as the second Georgia batter of the eighth, stole second and scored on a Farmer single up the middle to give the Bulldogs a 6-4 advantage.
Georgia Tech returns to ACC action this weekend as the Yellow Jackets travel to 23rd-ranked Clemson for a three-game set. Friday’s game will be at 6:30 p.m., Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on FSN as the ACC Game of the Week, and a Sunday afternoon matinee at 1 p.m.
Fans can follow Tech baseball on Twitter, @GT_Baseball, for instant updates.