Atlanta, Ga. - No. 13 Georgia Tech scored in bunches on Saturday afternoon, erasing Western Carolina's early 2-0 advantage in handing the Catamounts a 14-3 setback in game two of the three-game nonconference series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Georgia Tech's first four batters finished 10-for-16 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBI as the Yellow Jackets remained perfect on the season, improving to 10-0. Tech is the third NCAA Division I baseball team to start 2016 with 10-straight wins, while also securing their 10th-consecutive home win.
Catamount seniors Garrett Brown and Danny Bermudez combined for six of WCU's nine hits in the losing effort on Saturday. Brown was 3-for-5 with a trio of singles and a RBI, while Bermudez had two singles and a double, extending his current hitting streak to a team-high tying nine-straight games. Dating back to last season, Bermudez has reached base safely in 17-straight games.
Junior Matt Smith singled in the first inning to extend his hit seasonal hitting streak to nine-straight games -- and stretch the streak to 13-straight games dating back to last season.
WCU finished with nine base hits and drew seven walks, but stranded a combined 12 base runners in Saturday's loss.
Catamount starter Bryan Sammons (1-1) took the loss for the Purple & Gold, surrendering 10 runs -- nine earned -- on 11 hits with two strikeouts and three walks in five innings of work. Newcomer relievers Chad Mabini and Jake Moebius both tallied strikeouts for WCU.
Western Carolina (3-7) grabbed the lead in the top of the first inning, scoring in the opening frame for the fourth-straight game -- and the fifth time in its last six outings. Brown singled up the middle before sophomore Brett Pope drew a walk to put two aboard. Bermudez put the Catamounts on the board with a RBI single to left field. With the bases loaded, senior Kramer Ferrell bounced into a double-play, but Pope was able to score on the play for the 2-0 lead after one.
However, Georgia Tech got a three-run home run by Kel Johnson in the home half of the first to take a lead it would never relinquish. The Yellow Jackets scored in six of the eight runs in which they batted, grabbing a 4-2 lead through two complete. A two-spot in the fourth made it 6-2. Matt Gonzalez belted a solo home run in the fifth ahead of Connor Justus who hit a three-run shot in the four-run sixth for the home squad. Tech capped scoring in the home half of the seventh with three insurance markers.
WCU would score its only other run in the sixth as Ferrell drew a lead-off HBP before scoring on a bases loaded single into center field by Brown.
Georgia Tech starter Keyton Gibson left after two innings of work, surrendering two runs on five hits with a pair of walks. Reliever Jake Lee (1-0) picked up the victory after tossing three innings of two-hit, scoreless relief. Lee struck out two against a walk.
Justus and Gonzalez both finished with three hits apiece with a combined five RBI. Justus matched a GT school record with a pair of triples -- the 17th different Yellow Jacket to reach the milestone. Johnson was 2-for-3 with the pace-setting three-run homer.
The series finale is scheduled for Sunday afternoon with a 1:00 pm first pitch. Freshman LHP Tristan Baker (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his third career appearance -- and just his second career start -- for the Catamounts with Georgia Tech sending RHP Jonathan Hughes (2-0, 0.00 ERA) to the mound.