ATLANTA — Georgia Tech capitalized on two Georgia Southern errors to score a pair of unearned runs and take the first of two games in Atlanta between the two teams Tuesday for a 4-3 win.
The No. 22 Yellow Jackets (13-4) erased an early 2-0 GSU lead and scored four unanswered runs before a solo shot by Victor Roache brought the Eagles within a run in the eighth.
GSU (11-6) threatened in the ninth inning and attempted a two-out rally. The Eagles took advantage of two wild pitches in the ninth inning to move a pair of runners into scoring position with two outs, but Michael Burruss struck out to end the game without a run scoring.
Shawn Payne extended his reached-base streak to 46 games after an RBI single in the second inning. The senior outfielder is tied with Ronnie Freeman of Kennesaw State.
Matt Grimes earned his third win of the season for Georgia Tech after allowing two runs on four hits. Grimes struck out four batters in six innings. Luke Bard pitched the final three innings to earn his second save of the season. Bard struck out five batters and allowed one run on two hits.
Justin Hess entered in relief of GSU starter Jarret Leverett in the fourth inning and faced the minimum in the next three innings keeping the game within reach. Roache pulled the Eagles within one run when he sent a 3-2 pitch deep over the center-field wall in the seventh inning to put the score at 4-3.
Leverett made his third start of the season and had a better outing than his first two, but was tagged with his third loss. The junior pitcher allowed two earned runs on five hits in 3.2 innings and struck out three batters.
Georgia Southern and No. 22 Georgia Tech will meet again today at 4 p.m. in the finale of the four-game series.
The Eagles will travel to Samford to resume Southern Conference play following the game and will face the Bulldogs in a three-game series starting Friday.