Feb. 14, 2014
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s freshmen scored four times and drove in three runs as the Yellow Jackets rallied with two in the bottom of the seventh top beat Old Dominion, 6-5, in the opening game of the Battle In Midtown Friday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The rookies helped give Georgia Tech (1-0) an early 3-2 lead, but it was the veterans that came through late as junior CF Daniel Spingola’s triple to right knotted the score at 5-5 in the seventh. In the next at-bat, junior 2B Thomas Smith’s RBI single to right gave Tech the lead for good.
Smith finished 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Sophomore LF Matt Gonzalez, a reigning freshman All-American, was on base three times thanks to a pair of doubles and a walk. He also stole a base.
Senior righty Dusty Isaacs pitched the final 3.1 innings of scoreless ball to register the win in relief. He fanned two with no walks and one hit.
“Dusty did exactly what we wanted him to do,” said head coach Danny Hall. “He held the fort together and we were able to scratch a few runs across in the seventh and win the game for him. I was pleased with most of our at-bats up and down the order. It was a good win.”
Sophomore lefty Jonathan King drew the opening-day start for the Yellow Jackets and settled in after a rocky first inning that saw the Monarchs strike for two runs on three hits. Mike Perez’s two-run double allowed the visitors to draw first blood.
ODU (0-1) expanded the lead to 3-0 in the second thanks to Ben Slaton’s lead-off homer to right, but that’s when Tech’s rookies went to work.
Gonzalez’s one-out double got things rolling for the Jackets in the bottom of the second and freshman C Arden Pabst followed by hammering an RBI triple off the wall in center.
“I was very pleased with my freshmen today,” said Hall. “I think all those guys are good players. There are guys that didn’t play that will get in there before the weekend’s over. Very pleased with the way the freshmen handled themselves today.
Tech started four rookies in the lineup and, including pinch-hitter Keenan Innis, the freshmen combined for four hits, four runs and three RBI.
Reliever Dean Ali took the loss for the Monarchs, allowing Tech’s go-ahead runs in his two innings of work. P.J. Higgins had two hits for ODU.
The Battle In Mditown continues Friday night with VCU versus Radford. Saturday’s schedule begins at 12 p.m. with VCU versus ODU. Georgia Tech and Radford meet in the nightcap at 4 p.m.