March 12, 2014
Atlanta, Ga. - Georgia Tech used a five-run second inning to erase Western Carolina's 4-0 start as the Yellow Jackets held off the Catamounts, 7-5, Tuesday afternoon in nonconference baseball action at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Both teams finished the game on Tuesday with 10 hits apiece. However, the Catamounts left 12 runners on base in the loss while Georgia Tech stranded eight.
Three Catamounts finished with two-hit games with Cody Jones singling twice as a part of a 2-for-4 showing. Bradley Strong and Jacob Hoyle both finished 2-for-5 with Hoyle doubling in the loss. Freshman Matt Smith drove in a team-high two runs on a bases loaded single to right field early in Tuesday's game.
WCU freshman LHP Bryan Sammons (3-1) took the loss for the Catamounts, lasting just an inning-plus with six earned runs allowed on six hits, walking two with a strikeout. He was the first of four pitchers to throw for the Purple & Gold with Jonathan Waszak tossing a team-long 5.0 innings. Bryce Danielson walked one in an inning and a third of relief while Colton Davis struck out the two batters he faced.
Western Carolina used a lead-off double by Aaron Attaway and a RBI single by Bradley Strong in the first two batters of the game to jump on top of the ACC-foe, 1-0, in the first series meeting between the two since 2009. Adam Martin drove Strong home on a deep fly ball sacrifice to center field to make it 2-0.
The opening frame continued as Jacob Hoyle doubled to right center field with Dykota Spiess putting two aboard with a 10-pitch walk, chasing Georgia Tech starter Tanner Shelton. With the bases eventually loaded, freshman Matt Smith delivered a two-run scoring single to provide the four-run advantage.
The Yellow Jackets responded in the bottom of the first as Mott Hyde drew his first of three walks before Thomas Smith lifted a two-out double to right center to push home the run, trimming the deficit to three, 4-1.
Georgia Tech (9-7) then scored five runs on five hits in the bottom of the second inning to seize control of the game. A.J. Murray opened the frame with a solo homer over the fence in left as a part of four-consecutive base hits. Catcher Arden Pabst drove in a runner on a single to right field ahead of Ryan Peurifoy who scored on a passed ball. Matt Gonzales drove home his lone marker of the day on a sacrifice fly to right field with another run scoring on fielder's choice play to the plate that did not record an out.
The home squad tacked on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a one-out
homer over the fence in left by Hyde, stretching the lead to three, 7-4.
WCU managed to get a run back in the eighth inning as a walk, HBP and single loaded the bases with only one out. Attaway then calmly drew a walk to drive in a run, his 11th of the season.
Down to its final out in the top of the ninth, WCU mounted one final push to try and scratch the board for the game-tying markers. Dale Urquhart Jr., singled through the left side before taking second on a wild pitch. The next batter, Cody Jones, singled to right-center field with Urquhart held at third to put runners at the corners for Danny Bermudez. However, the threat was squelched when the back-up catcher was rung up on a borderline strike off the outer edge of the plate for the strikeout.
Yellow Jacket reliever Devin Stanton (1-0) did a masterful job of stemming the tide as the third reliever out of Georgia Tech's bullpen. Stanton tossed four scoreless innings with just one hit allowed while striking out five. Sam Clay was called upon to close the game, likewise fanning five in an inning and two thirds.
Tech likewise had three players with two-hits in the winning effort. Thomas Smith was 2-for-3 with his fourth double of the season while Ryan Peurifoy was 2-for-2 before being lifted from the lineup after being picked off at first base. Connor Justus was 2-for-5 while Hyde scored three runs on three walks and one base hit.
Western Carolina (8-6) returns to action in its fifth-straight game away from home on Tuesday evening, visiting Atlantic Sun foe, Kennesaw State, in the front end of a seasonal home-and-home. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 pm and can be heard on the Catamount Sports Network, online through CatamountSports.com.