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Tech slams way past Diamond Eagles

    Georgia Tech hit two grand slams and scored off of six of the seven Georgia Southern pitchers who entered the game Wednesday, winning 14-8 at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    The win was the first for the Yellow Jackets after teammate Michael Hutts was found dead in his apartment last week. Tuesday’s game between the two schools was canceled so Tech could attend Hutts’ funeral.
    The Jackets seemed to bounce back from an emotional week, pounding out 15 hits.
    The second grand slam of the day came from DH Luke Murton with nobody out in the eighth. The junior took a 1-0 pitch and planted it deep over the left-field wall just to the right of the scoreboard to make it 12-3 and send much of the crowd toward the exits.
    The Eagles (18-17) rallied for five in the eighth, but gave two more back in the ninth to provide the final score.
    Each team used seven different pitchers in the game and no GSU pitcher went more than two innings.
    “We were going to use a lot of guys,” said GSU coach Rodney Hennon. “(Starter Michael) Hester was probably only going to throw three or four innings. Now obviously we didn’t plan on using that many guys — that just came from the fact that we didn’t pitch very well.”
    Tech (27-10) jumped on Hester early on a Derek Dietrich two-run shot to right. Brad Feltes didn’t take to kindly to GSU intentionally walking Tony Plagman to load the bases in the fifth. The senior third baseman took a 2-0 offering from A.J. Gilbert and tattooed it to left center to make it 6-0.
    The Eagles responded with three in their fifth off Tech starter Deck McGuire (6-0). Chris Shehan drove in Ty Wright on a single, then scored on an error. McGuire balked in a run with the bases loaded but escaped further damage.
    McGuire, a freshman, entered the game 5-0 with a 3.24 ERA. He threw 98 pitches over five innings, allowing just two earned runs on eight hits.
    Dietrich plated another run in the sixth on a fielder’s choice, then Murton hit his first of two dingers with a solo shot in the seventh.
    Southern scored five in the eighth to cut the lead to 12-8. Phillip Porter had a two-run single, Shehan drove in a run, pinch-hitter Will Southwell beat out an infield hit to keep the rally alive and A.J. Wirnsberger hit a sac fly to cut the deficit to four.
    “I thought our kids kept playing, regardless of what the score was,” said Hennon. “We didn’t get any of the big hits early when we had some opportunities and we just got to do a better job of that.”
    Georgia Southern resumes conference play this weekend, travelling to Davidson on Friday.
Notes: Matt Miller, who has been out with injury for the Eagles, pinch hit in the eighth and drew a lead-off walk. ... GSU first baseman Jeremiah Parker was 0-for-4 with a hat trick in strikeouts on 13 pitches. ... Burt Barto was the only GSU reliever note to surrender a run. ... The game lasted 3 hours and 38 minutes. ... All three players from Greenbrier High School in Evans played in the game. Hester started on the mound for GSU, Jeff Rowland started in center and Brandon Cumpton pitched in relief for Tech. ... Statesboro’s Jake Ware and Kevin Bowles pinch ran in the eighth and played the rest of the game at shortstop and second base, respectively. ... Eagle pitchers walked seven and hit four. ... Both Dietrich and Murton had five RBIs each.

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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