Atlanta, Ga. (Feb. 17, 2006) - Third-ranked Georgia Tech utilized big innings and clutch two-out hitting in completing a doubleheader sweep over ETSU 7-3 and 5-2 Tuesday at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Buccaneers have now lost 21 consecutive contests to the Yellow Jackets.
Tech scored single runs in the third and sixth innings for a 2-0 lead, but the Bucs rallied to tie the contest in the seventh. Junior centerfielder Stephen Douglas (Kennesaw, Ga.) led off the frame with a single, and came around to score on first baseman Whit Robbins' throwing error. Junior C.J. Lee (Bristol, Va.) scored the equalizer on senior Matt Traylor's (Knoxville, Tenn.) sacrifice fly.
The Jackets (8-0) rallied in the bottom half of the inning with three runs, taking a decisive 5-2 advantage. ETSU starter Jeremy Hall (Gray, Tenn.) quickly retired the inning's first two hitters, but second baseman Ryan Tinkoff found a hole in the right side for a two-out single, and left fielder Steven Blackwood drove him home with a double over Lee's head in left.
Hall (2-1) absorbed his first loss of the season, going 6 2/3 innings and striking out five Yellow Jackets. Chris Hicks (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in relief of starter David Duncan, and Tim Gustafson pitched the final two innings for his second save.
In the day's first game, three ETSU errors led to five unearned Georgia Tech runs, and the Buccaneers fell short by a 7-3 tally.
The Bucs took an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when sophomore Anthony Russell (Waldorf, Md.) singled in Lee from second base, but the Jackets responded with four runs in the bottom frame. After inducing a pop out to start the inning, starter Tony Lombardi (Windsor, Calif.) surrendered a single and hit consecutive batters to load the bases. Douglas lost a would-be sacrifice fly in the sun, the tying run came across and the bases remained loaded. Centerfielder Danny Payne singled in the go ahead run, and Tech would not trail again.
The Bucs cut the lead to 4-2 in the third when senior Shane Byrne (Johnson City, Tenn.) drove in junior Michael Courtney (Knoxville, Tenn.) for his team-leading 10th RBI of the season. Tech added three unearned runs in the fourth, and the five run lead proved insurmountable.
Lombardi took his third hard-luck loss of the season, falling to 0-3, and Ryan Turner picked up his first win of the season for the Jackets. Jared Hyatt worked the final three innings picking up his first save.
Douglas hit his second home run of the year in the eighth to provide the final four-run margin.
The Bucs return home for a weekend series against Youngstown State this weekend. Game times are still being determined.