Tech tops Dawgs

ATLANTA - Tenth-ranked Georgia Tech defeated 11th-ranked Georgia 9-4 Wednesday in front of a Russ Chandler Stadium record crowd of 4,609.

Junior first baseman Luke Murton went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBI to pace the Yellow Jackets (26-7) who became the first team since April 1st to score on the Bulldog bullpen. Georgia's relievers had a streak of 26.2 scoreless innings pitched coming into the contest but saw that end as the Yellow Jackets scored eight runs over the final six frames for the win.

Georgia (20-12) led briefly 1-0 in the third. Sophomore Matt Cerione reached on a wild pitch after a strikeout. He moved into scoring position with his third stolen base of the year, advanced to third on a groundout by Michael Demperio and scored on a groundout by Ryan Peisel. The Yellow Jackets tied the game in their half of the frame. Tony Plagman drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a base hit by Jason Haniger. Georgia lifted starter Alex McRee and turned to junior left-hander Nathan Moreau. Jeff Rowland's sacrifice fly to left made it 1-1 and then Moreau retired the next two Yellow Jackets to avoid further damage.

The run was charged to McRee which ended his scoreless innings streak at nine innings covering a span of four outings. In the fourth, Georgia's bullpen's scoreless innings pitched streak was snapped. Derek Dietrich led off with a double and then with two outs, Thomas Nicholas lined an RBI-double left center to give Georgia Tech a 2-1 edge. Plagman followed with a run-scoring single to put Tech up 3-1. Moreau went two innings and allowed two runs on three hits. Tech added two runs in the fifth off senior Nick Montgomery to extend its lead to 5-1.

In the sixth, Demperio led off with his first triple of the year. A sacrifice fly by Peisel scored Demperio to make it 5-2. After retiring Matt Olson, Tech starter Deck McGuire ran into trouble. Shortstop Gordon Beckham singled through the left side and Rich Poythress reached on a walk. Catcher Bryce Massanari smacked a run-scoring single up the middle to bring the Bulldogs to within two at 5-3. It extended his hitting streak to nine games. Tech turned to Andrew Robinson who got freshman Lyle Allen to strike out for the third time on the night.

McGuire improved to 5-0, going 5.2 innings and surrendering three runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Moreau got the loss to fall to 1-1.

With two on and two out in the sixth, sophomore Dean Weaver came on for Montgomery. A walk to Charlie Blackmon loaded the bases for Dietrich who bounced out to send it to the seventh. Tech got to Weaver in the seventh as Luke Murton singled and scored on a triple by Nichols. Then, Georgia brought in sophomore pitcher Justin Earls and he struck out Plagman before surrendering a run-scoring single to Haniger for a 7-3 advantage. In the eighth, Poythress' RBI-single off Brad Rulon brought the Bulldogs withing three at 7-4. However, Murton's smashed a two-run home run in the bottom of the inning to put Tech back in front 9-4.

"We have to make some adjustments and hope to come back strong Friday against Kentucky," said Georgia coach David Perno. "I'm a little concerned that perhaps the five games a week for more than a month now has taken a toll on us. Hopefully, our hitting will bounce back because it was not to long ago it was around .315 but it's been going down. Our bullpen has been really good for a while but tonight it wasn't."

The Bulldogs return to action Friday when it plays host to ninth-ranked Kentucky (26-5, 7-5 SEC). First pitch at Foley Field is slated for 6:30 p.m.

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