May 14, 2010
ATLANTA – Chase Burnette drove in four runs and Jay Dantzler three Friday night to back the four-hit pitching of Deck McGuire, and Georgia Tech captured the opener of a key Atlantic Coast Conference series over Miami, 14-3, at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Tech (40-9, 18-7 ACC), ranked No. 6 in the nation, won its fifth straight game and reached 40 victories in a season for the 21st time in its history. More importantly, the Yellow Jackets moved into a tie for the ACC Coastal Division lead with the fifth-ranked Hurricanes (36-12, 18-7) and Virginia. Miami’s seven-game winning streak came to an end.
“It was a great start to the weekend, and I thought Deck really threw the ball well,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall. “We had some big at-bats early. I thought Chase Burnette’s at-bat to hit the triple and clean the bases was big for us. Great start to the weekend, still have two more games to play, but a good start.”
McGuire (7-3), who had won only one of his last five starts, was sharp through seven innings of work despite enduring a 25-minute rain delay. The junior from Richmond, Va., scattered four hits, including a second-inning home run to Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal, and three walks while fanning nine batters. He took over the ACC lead in strikeouts with 99 in 92 2/3 innings.
“It was one of those nights that everything seemed to be working,” said McGuire, who earned his 26th career victory. “I left a couple of pitches up to Yasmani [Grandal], and he made me pay for them. Other than that, I thought I kept the ball down well.
“Everybody I have faced this year has been really aggressive with the fastball, and I figured they would do the same so I tried to mix in some breaking balls early and get ahead and then come with the fastball late.”
After spotting the Hurricanes a run on Grandal’s leadoff shot in the second, the Yellow Jackets struck for four runs in the bottom half, three on Burnette’s triple and the fourth on Dantzler’s single. Tech added five more in the third for a 9-1 lead, getting an RBI double from Cole Leonida and a two-run triple from Dantzler to chase Miami starter Jason Santana (5-3).
The Jackets extended the margin to 11-1 with a pair of runs in the fourth, one on Matt Skole’s double and the other on Leonida’s single. Tony Plagman’s two-out, two-run homer, the 50th of his career, in the fifth inning made it 13-1. Derek Dietrich added a solo shot in the seventh, the Yellow Jackets’ 100th home run of the season, for a 14-1 cushion.
Santana (5-3), who had won his last two starts, was unable to contain a Tech lineup which had struggled of late but ranked in the nation’s top 10 in scoring, home runs and slugging. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs on six hits and four walks. Relievers Iden Nazario and Joe Lovecchio surrendered five runs and two homers between them.
Leonida and Thomas Nichols added three hits apiece in the Yellow Jackets’ 15-hit attack.
“I thought we swung the bats very well, we had some good approaches, were able to grind some at-bats early and get a good look at [Jason] Santana, and capitalize when we had chances,” added Hall. “Once we saw him the first time we knew how he was going to try to get us out. I felt like we did a good job with him once we saw him early.”
Junior Kevin Jacob made his first relief appearance since March 13 against Wake Forest, striking out the side in the eighth, and freshman Ben McKinney pitched the ninth, giving up a pair of runs on two walks and a base hit before retiring the final two batters via strikeout.
First pitch for game two of the weekend series is set for 7 p.m. Saturday night. Mark Pope (7-0) will take the mound for Georgia Tech and be opposed by Chris Hernandez (7-2).