Feb. 29, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech scored double-digit runs for the fourth time in five games, leading wire-to-wire in an 11-5 win over Kennesaw State Wednesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium. Sophomore CF Kyle Wren tied a school record with two triples and finished with three RBI.
Sophomore 1B Daniel Palka extended his hitting streak to eight games with his 2-for-4 effort and two RBI. Wren was 2-for-3, walked twice and scored twice, while junior RF Brandon Thomas was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.
“Any time Wren and Thomas can get on in front of Palka, Davies and Evans, we’ve got a chance to score some runs,” said head coach Danny Hall, who moved to six wins from reaching the 1,000th of his career.
Half of the Yellow Jackets’ 10 hits went for extra bases, including three triples, which also tied a school record. With two three-baggers, Wren matched a Tech mark that had been set 18 previous times – the last by Jeff Rowland vs. Missouri State on March 20, 2010. The school record of three triples had been set 10 previous times, the last coming on April 14, 2010 vs. Georgia.
Tech (7-2) pounced on the visitors with three runs in the second inning, and Wren’s bases-clearing triple to left field busted the game open during a seven-run onslaught in the third.
A Jake Davies’ double got the third inning started. After Connor Winn drew a bases-loaded walk with one out to make it 4-0, Wren tripled, Thomas ripped an RBI triple to the left-field gap, Palka doubled down the right-field line to drive in a run and Zane Evans followed suit to make it 11-0.
Working on a pitch count, freshman Cole Pitts got the start, fired four scoreless innings and was credited with the win (2-0). The righty scattered three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Six Tech relievers finished off the victory.
“That was the plan to get four innings out of him and I think he’s throwing the ball well,” said Hall. “I’ve been impressed every time he’s thrown. He’s got a great feel up there and throws strikes. The back end of our bullpen – from Davies to Dalton to Heddinger to Bard – threw the ball really well. I don’t know what Bard’s velocity was, but the ball was flying out of his hand.”
Winn, who matched his career-high of three RBI, ripped a run-scoring single in the fourth inning to cap Tech’s scoring.
Kennesaw State (3-5) did not go quietly as Andy Almonte lifted a two-run home run and Andy Chriscaden doubled to score two more in the fifth inning. The visitors got no closer than an RBI single from Ronnie Freeman in the sixth. Almonte and Freeman each had three hits.
Georgia Tech returns to action Friday to open a three-game series versus Rutgers at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.