ATHENS, Ga. — The rankings show Georgia Tech to be the state's power of the early part of the college baseball season.
Performances against ranked teams tell another story, however. Improving to 5-1 against ranked teams this season, Georgia beat No. 6 Georgia Tech 7-1 Tuesday night at Foley Field in the first of four regular-season games between the rivals.
Georgia Tech will play host to the Bulldogs tonight at 7 at its new Russ Chandler Stadium.
Including a sweep of then-No. 29 Vanderbilt last weekend and a split of two games at No. 8 Wake Forest, Georgia (13-5) has played well against ranked teams this month and this week moved to No. 29 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.
"At the beginning of the season, all the people who do the rankings didn't expect us to do much at all,'' said Georgia freshman starting pitcher Jason Fellows, who earned the first win of his college career. "Now we're showing them we can play.''
Tech (18-4) now is 0-4 against ranked teams this season, including two losses at Wake Forest and a home loss to South Carolina.
Perhaps of more interest to first-year Georgia coach David Perno is the record between the two teams. Georgia won three of four games against Tech last season, including a win over the Yellow Jackets in the NCAA East Regional in Athens. That ended a streak of 14 straight years in which Tech either won or split the season series with Georgia.
Fellows, a left-hander from Berkmar High School, spotted Georgia Tech a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, but that would be the Yellow Jackets' only run of the game.
Fellows — a left-hander who was a ninth-round draft pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates last summer — did not allow a hit after giving up a run-scoring single to Victor Menocal in the third.
Fellows (1-0) pitched five innings, allowing three hits and two walks, and left the game with a 2-1 lead. He overcame a problem with blisters on his pitching hand that had pushed his earned run average to 6.17.
"My last few outings were embarrassing,'' Fellows said. "I didn't want to keep on going out like that.''
Hard-throwing reliever Brandon Moorhead followed Fellows with four shutout innings of relief for his fourth save.
Georgia Tech starter Brian Burks (5-2) allowed only two runs and four hits through five innings, but he was knocked out of the game by giving up three straight hits — including a two-run double by Adam Swann — to open the sixth inning.
Swann was a career .375 hitter against Tech before adding two hits Tuesday. The senior now has seven career doubles against the Yellow Jackets, and his sixth-inning shot to the center-field wall scored Matt Cavender and Lee Mitchell, who led off with singles off Burks.
With left-hander Aaron Walker on the mound for Tech, Swann scored later in the sixth on Clint Sammons' sacrifice fly to deep center, pushing the lead to 5-1.
Known more for his 13 steals than his power, Georgia leadoff hitter Chaz Lytle lined his first homer of the season to the scoreboard behind the right-field wall in the seventh inning. The shot off Walker gave the Bulldogs a 6-1 lead.
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