June 4, 2011
ATLANTA – No. 1 seed Georgia Tech scored five runs in the second inning and cruised to a 6-2 victory over No. 2 seed Southern Miss Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The win pairs the Jackets (41-20) with the loser of tonight’s matchup between No. 4 seed Austin Peay and No. 3 seed Mississippi State at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. With the loss Southern Miss (39-18) is eliminated from the NCAA Tournament.
Tech’s Jed Bradley threw seven shutout innings before the Eagles plated two runs in the top of the eighth, snapping their 32 inning scoreless streak. Bradley allowed eight hits and struck out four while improving to 7-3 on the season.
“We are a much happier group today,” Tech head coach Danny Hall said. “I thought there were a couple keys to the game today, Jed started off really well and Brandon (Thomas) was able to hit the home run and give us a big inning. We got a nice lead after the second inning and pretty much stayed in control throughout the rest of the game.”
In the game’s big inning, Daniel Palka led off the Jackets portion of the second inning with a solo home run down the right field line off the first pitch from Southern Miss pitcher Josh Thomason to score the contests’ first run.
The rally continued for Tech in the second as Jacob Esch doubled and Jake Davies singled before Sam Dove plated a run with a RBI single. After a sacrifice bunt put runner on second and third with no one out, the Eagles went to the pen for the first time in the game. Brandon Thomas greeted the new Southern Miss pitcher, Dillon Day, with a three-run home run over the left field wall putting Tech up 5-0.
The Jackets added their sixth and final run of the game in the third inning on an Esch RBI single, plating Matt Skole who walked to lead off the inning.
Southern Miss went to its closer, Collin Cargill, in the bottom of the third inning and he held Georgia Tech scoreless over the final 5.1 innings, allowing only three hits and striking out three.
Southern Miss cracked the scoreboard for the first time in the last three games in the top of the eighth on a RBI ground out by B.A.Vollmuth and a sacrifice fly by Ashley Greater.
“It was another tough day for us,” Southern Miss head coach Scott Berry said. “Offensively we just could not get things rolling today. It is a shame that we had to end our season this away and I hope that people will remember that we did have an outstanding season, playing in our ninth consecutive NCAA Regional and co-champs in Conference USA with Rice. Those things are important to us and our program.”