April 22, 2009
Atlanta, Ga. - Tied at five entering the bottom of the third inning, No. 4 Georgia Tech outscored Western Carolina 11-to-2 over the final six frames, including a four-run third and a six-run fifth, en route to a 16-7 victory Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The same two teams will square off in Cullowhee on Wednesday night as Georgia Tech makes its first-ever visit to Childress Field / Hennon Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm.
Western Carolina (22-16) erased a two-run deficit with a four-run top of the second inning, spurred by a two-run home run by Matt Johns. Rembert Rollison also laid down a perfect safety squeeze bunt to the left side to drive in a run, later scoring to cap the four-run frame, 4-2.
The Yellow Jackets rallied back, though, with a three-spot in the home half of the second to reclaim the lead, 5-4, after two.
J.C. Lyons was able to knot the game at five in the top of the third on a heads-up play on the bases. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Lyons moved from first to third on a wild pitch that was misplayed by the Tech catcher, Cole Leonida, at the back stop. On the same play, no one covered home plate or called time after Leonida tracked down the baseball which allowed Lyons to win a foot race for home to score the tying run. It was officially scored a stolen base for Lyons, his 19th of the season.
However, Georgia Tech (27-8-1) scored four in the home half of the third and six in the bottom of the fifth to pull away for the victory.
Greer led WCU with a 2-for-2 night, drawing a walk and was hit by pitches twice to reach base in all five plate appearances. Stephen Notaro finished 2-for-3 with a single and a double, while Rembert Rollison had a pair of singles in a 2-for-4 showing at the dish. Trevor Collias recorded one base hit in the game, but also swiped his 24th stolen base of the year to take sole possession of ninth on the WCU single-season charts.
Garrett Ozar (2-4) took the loss after allowing nine earned runs on 10 base hits with a walk and two strikeouts through three and a third innings pitched. Chris Masters threw two-thirds of a frame in relief, surrendering five earned runs on three hits with a strikeout and free pass. Garrett Baker saw an inning and a third of two-run, four-hit relief while Jason Sullivan logged a career-long two and two-thirds, holding Georgia Tech off the scoreboard with just one hit, two walks and a career-best four strikeouts.
Jackets' reliever Jake Davies (2-0) earned the win after throwing two thirds of an inning in relief of starter, Jed Bradley. Davies struck out two and allowed one hit, facing three batters total. Bradley allowed six earned runs on eight hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts. Jacob Esch earned the save after working the final four innings in effective relief, surrendering one run on four hits with five strikeouts.
Jason Haniger led Georgia Tech with a 4-for-5 showing at the plate with four RBI, including a two-run homer in the first that gave the Yellow Jackets the early, 2-0, advantage. Chris House finished 3-for-3 with a three-run homer, while Leonida was 3-for-4 with three singles and two RBI.