April 17, 2012
ATLANTA – Jake Davies and Zane Evans each had three hits and two RBI, leading Georgia Tech to a wire-to-wire win over Georgia State, 8-4, Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets pounded out 15 hits and scored four times in the first inning.
Davies and Evans finished with three hits each, while Paul Kronenfeld, Brandon Thomas and Sam Dove had two hits apiece. Kronenfeld also drove in a pair for the Jackets, who improved to 22-16 overall, 7-3 in midweek games and 6-3 versus in-state rivals.
“It was key that we got four runs in the first inning and set the tone for the game,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Paul’s been swinging the bat really well and that’s why I stuck him in right field tonight. That was a big hit for us in the first inning.”
The top of Tech’s order did much of the damage as the two-, three-, four- and five-hole hitters combined for 10 hits, four RBI and scored six times.
Working on a pitch count, starter Dusty Isaacs went two innings with two hits, a run and two strikeouts to improve to 5-1. Josh Heddinger gave the Jackets 5.1 innings of solid relief, striking out six and yielding five hits and three runs (two earned). Alex Cruz slammed the door with five quick outs to end it.
“All three of those guys threw well tonight,” said Hall. “Dusty looked good, Heddinger needed to have a good outing and Alex was Alex. He throws strikes and gets a lot of outs.”
Four consecutive singles by Dove, Thomas, Davies and Evans gave Tech a 2-0 lead in the first, and Kronenfeld’s single to left doubled the lead to 4-0.
Georgia State (16-22) cut the deficit in half thanks to a second-inning RBI ground out from Joey Wood and a third-inning RBI double from Brandon Williams.
But the hosts distanced themselves again in the fifth when Daniel Palka doubled home Evans, and in the sixth, two more Jackets scored on RBI’s from Davies and Evans.
GSU starter Tyler Claburn was tagged his first loss of the season (3-1), allowing six hits and four runs in 4.1 innings. The Panthers used four relievers behind Claburn.
With the three-hit effort, Davies extended his hitting streak to a career-long 11 games, and Thomas stretched his reached-base streak to 39 games dating back to last season.
The Jackets are back in action Friday night in Chapel Hill to open a three-game ACC series at North Carolina. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Friday’s and Saturday’s games are available on ESPN3, with Sunday’s game nationally-televised on ESPNU.