March 9, 2004
Atlanta, Ga. - WCU junior pitcher Brian Barnes had one of his best career outings, but 17th-ranked Georgia Tech scored two runs in the seventh to rally and defeat the Catamounts, 4-3, Tuesday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Cats padded their advantage in the third with two runs, making the score 3-0. Todd Roper started the frame with an infield single and moved to second when Chris Davis as hit by a pitch. Roper and Davis moved up 90 feet on a hit-and-run by Denver Edick. Jared Greenwood followed with a sacrifice fly to center and Alex Gary tripled to drive in Davis.
In the bottom of the third, the Yellow Jackets (9-5) got their first hit and first run in the game. Catcher Andy Hawranick started the home half by being hit by a pitch and scored on a two-out double by Wes Hodges. Georgia Tech trimmed its deficit to one (3-2) in the bottom of the fifth. Jake Hall had a two-out single and scored, thanks to an Eric Patterson double and a fielding error by WCU on the play.
In the bottom of the sixth, Barnes, who got his first start since his freshman season, left the game with two runners on and one out in the sixth. The Fredericksburg, Va., native pitched a career-high 5.1 innings, one inning longer than his previous best. Luke Miller came in an induced an inning-ending double play to end the Georgia Tech threat. Barnes allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) and a walk with three strikeouts.
Georgia Tech took its first lead in the game with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Tyler Greene started the Tech seventh with an infield single. He stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a single to center by pinch hitter Whit Robbins. With two outs, Robbins, who stole second, scored the game-winning run on a single by Hodges.
Miller (0-1) was saddled with the loss, allowing two hits and two runs in an inning's work. Mike McGowan faced one batter in the seventh, striking out Patterson, and Brian McCullen pitched the final 1.1 innings allowing one hit, no runs and a walk with two strikeouts.
Western only managed one hit over the final six innings. The Cats got two hits from Roper and one each from Edick, Gary, McKown and Nelson. WCU's leading hitter Davis was 0-for-3, ending a 16-game hitting streak dating back to last season. However, Edick extended his hit streak to 10 games and Gary to eight.
In getting the first out of the bottom of the seventh, Western's Roper tied the school record for assists with 531 for his career, sharing the spot with former WCU All-American Grant Brittain.
Georgia Tech starting pitcher Ryan Turner (1-1) got the win, pitching a career-high 7.0 innings. He allowed six hits and three runs with zero walks and five strikeouts. Ryan Self worked a perfect eight for the Jackets, while John Goodman struck out the side in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
The two teams will return to action at Russ Chandler Stadium Wednesday at 4 pm.