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Tech engineers 11-4 win over GSU

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Posted: February 26, 2013 11:33 p.m.
Updated: February 26, 2013 11:32 p.m.
Tech engineers 11-4 win over GSU

With the Eagles leading 4-1 in the sixth, Georgia Southern starting pitcher Justin Hess protests as umpire Craig Mirr calls a ball with a full count against Georgia Tech's Brandon Thomas at J.I. Clements Stadium on Tuesday. Hess did not finish the inning and the Yellow Jackets went on to score 10 unanswered runs over the final four innings for the win.


    Georgia Tech plastered Georgia Southern for 10 unanswered runs in the final four innings and knocked off the Eagles, 11-4, on Tuesday at J.I. Clements Stadium.
    The No. 16 Yellow Jackets (7-1) battered five GSU pitchers for 14 hits after falling into an early, 4-1 hole.
    The Eagles (4-3) did their damage on Georgia Tech starter Josh Heddinger and reliever Jared Jilson, who combined to give up four hits and all four GSU runs.
    “We had a good approach but when we lost the lead we got away from that a little bit. We've got to pick ourselves up," GSU coach Rodney Hennon said. "We have another opportunity (Wednesday), and we need to come out here excited about playing and ready to compete."
    Georgia Tech mounted a rally in the sixth, sending nine batters to the plate as the Eagles sent three different pitchers to the mound.
    The frame got off to a bad start, when third baseman Sam Dove popped up to shallow right. Scooter Williams and second baseman Brent Pugh collided as the ball dropped harmlessly to the ground, and Dove ended up on second with a double.
    Brandon Thomas walked, and Dove scored on a double by Daniel Palka.
    A.J. Murray laced a hard grounder up the middle, which bounced off the leg of GSU starting pitcher Justin Hess into foul territory for a single. Thomas scored on the play, and it was the end of the day for Hess. Hess went five full innings, gave up five runs on six hits and struck out five. He was nearly flawless in the first five innings, striking out five and allowing only one run on an RBI single by Palka in the first.
    “We had a rough sixth inning," Hennon said. "Justin Hess went out and competed tonight. We did some good things in the first five innings, and I felt like we had the momentum on our side but a few mistakes in the sixth inning really hurt us and led to a big inning."
    Josh Stevenson entered the game with runners on the corners, and balked in a run to tie the game at 4-4. Zane Evans crushed a two-run homer to left center to give the Yellow jackets a 6-4 lead. Stevenson struck out Matt Gonzalez, but left the game after a double by Mott Hyde.
    Drew Johnson came in and forced a popout and a strikeout to end the frame.
    Tech plated three more runs in the seventh when Evans hit his second home run of the day.
    The GSU deficit became 10-4 in the eighth after an RBI triple by Dove, and the Jackets scored again in the ninth on an RBI double from Gonzalez.
    The Eagles got all four runs of their runs in the first four innings.
    Chase Griffin blasted a two-run homer — his second of the season — in the first, and Pugh crossed the plate in the second on an RBI single by Ben Morgan.
    Morgan drove in Pugh again in the bottom of the fourth with another single, which put GSU ahead, 4-1.
    The two-game series wraps up today at 6 p.m.
The Eagles will start left-hander Evan Challenger. It will be Challenger’s third appearance. The lefty came out of the bullpen in an 11-2 win over Georgia, and started the Eagles’ 8-7 win over Florida last Wednesday.
NOTES: Georgia Southern first baseman T.D. Davis failed to reach base for the first time in 18 games dating back to the 2012 season. … Relief pitcher Chris Myers continued his stretch of appearances. He has now pitched in all seven GSU games this season. … Robbie Dodds, a junior-college transfer from Spartanburg Methodist, started his first game at GSU in place of injured left fielder Hunter Thomas, who ended his season with a broken leg Sunday against Indiana. Announced attendance was 2,135.

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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