ATLANTA, Ga. – No. 22 Georgia Tech used a five-run sixth inning to break a scoreless tie and surge past Rutgers in the series finale in baseball action Sunday afternoon before 1,547 fans at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Scarlet Knights (2-3) won the opener on Friday but were defeated in the final two contests as the Yellow Jackets (7-1) took the series from RU.
The early portion of the game was highlighted by a combination of great pitching and excellent defense as the Scarlet Knights and Yellow Jackets were scoreless through the first five innings.
RU starter Matt Giannini (Millington, N.J.) worked himself out of a jam in the second when GT put runners on the corners without recording an out. He struck out the next two hitters and induced a groundout to get out of the frame unscathed.
In the Georgia Tech third, with a man on first and one out, center fielder Luis Feliz (New Brunswick, N.J.) ran down a ball at the wall in center field for the catch and threw out the runner on first base from deep in the outfield for a double-play to end the inning.
Senior Jon Gossard (Harrington Park, N.J.) led off the fourth with a double to center field but the Scarlet Knights could not get him home as Georgia Tech starter Zach Von Tersch retired the next three batters in order to get out of the inning.
A pair of nice defensive plays kept Rutgers off the base paths in the fifth as sophomore Jayson Hernandez (Belmar, N.J.) lined out sharply to third base and sophomore Brett Garlick (Livingston, N.J.) hit a line drive to right field that was caught by a diving Charlie Blackmon in similar fashion to Saturday's game-sealing catch by the Yellow Jacket outfielder.
Georgia Tech broke the scoreless tie, exploding for five runs in the sixth. After giving up a single to the Yellow Jackets' Chris House to lead off the frame, Giannini followed a sacrifice with a free pass to yesterday's hero for Georgia Tech, Blackmon. Tony Plagman made the Scarlet Knights pay with a three-run home run over the left-field fence. A Luke Murton double then signaled the end of Giannini's day as reliever Kevin Lillis (Fair Haven, N.J.) came in for RU. After another RBI double, senior lefty Matt Patterson (Passaic, N.J.) made his third relief appearance in the series. GT countered the Patterson move with its second pinch hitter of the at-bat to a right-handed hitter and the move resulted in an RBI single for the Yellow Jackets to complete a five-run, five-hit inning for the home team.
Georgia Tech added a run in the seventh to make it 6-0 and Von Tersch (1-0) handed the ball over to the bull pen after a seven-strikeout, three-hit, scoreless outing in seven innings of work for the Yellow Jacket starter.
Giannini (0-2) worked 5.2 innings with five strikeouts to go along with four runs on six hits. Junior Tony Wargo (New Providence, N.J,) became the fourth Scarlet Knight pitcher as the righty recorded a scoreless eighth frame for Rutgers.
Several Scarlet Knights made their first plate appearances of the season as redshirt freshman Joey Ianiero (Bloomsburg, Pa.), true freshman Brandon Boykin (Teaneck, N.J.) pinch hit for RU in the eighth and ninth innings.
Rutgers travels home where it will host Temple and head coach Rob Valli, a former Rutgers assistant coach, on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. at Bainton Field in the 2008 home opener.