April 12, 2011
ATLANTA----Freshman Matt Grimes struck out a career-high 10 as ninth-ranked Georgia Tech defeated No. 28 Georgia 5-3 Tuesday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Junior third baseman Colby May (3-for-4, RBI) gave the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead with his first home run of the year, a two-out shot to right field in the second inning. It was May’s first home run since April 11, 2010 against Ole Miss. May made his eighth start of the season Tuesday and was playing in his 14th game overall.
Georgia (18-16) missed out on another two-out scoring opportunity in the third. After Levi Hyams (3-for-5, RBI) reached with a one out single and Kyle Farmer delivered a two-out single to move him to third, Grimes battled back to strike out Zach Cone for the second time in the contest. Farmer had extended his career-best hitting streak to 12 games with a two-out single in the first.
After two perfect innings by Bulldog left-hander Chase Hawkins, Tech (25-9) began the third by loading the bases on singles by Sam Dove, Mott Hyde and Brandon Thomas. Kyle Wren reached on a fielder’s choice and collected an RBI and then Jacob Esch gave Tech a 2-1 lead with a base hit. Hawkins rebounded to retire Matt Skole and Jake Davies on a pair of flyouts that Cone tracked down in centerfield. Georgia tried to answer in the top of the fourth. Jonathan Hester lined a one-out double to left and May followed with a base hit. However, Grimes came back to strike out Brandon Stephens and got Peter Verdin to bounce out to maintain the lead. In the bottom of the frame, Tech extended their lead to 4-1 courtesy of a two-run home run from designated hitter Daniela Palka, his seventh of the year.
Hawkins went four innings and allowed four runs on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts before giving way to sophomore right-hander Earl Daniels to start the bottom of the fifth. Daniels provided another effective outing with two scoreless innings of relief, matching his appearance at Ole Miss this past Sunday.
In the seventh, May tied his career-high with his third hit of the night. He took second on a passed ball and then scored on a base hit by Levi Hyams to make it 4-2. That ended Grimes’ outing. He pitched 6.2 innings and scattered eight hits and two runs with no walks and a career-high 10 strikeouts. Left-hander Taylor Wood came on to face the left-handed hitting Welton, and the Bulldog freshman lined a single to center. Then, Tech turned to right-hander Dusty Isaacs who struck out Farmer to end the threat.
Georgia sophomore left-hander Blake Dieterich started the seventh and Brandon Thomas greeted him with a double to left. He retired the next two hitters before Matt Skole lined a run-scoring double to right center to put Tech in front 5-2. Cone led off the eighth with his second home run of the year to bring the Bulldogs back to within two at 5-3. Dieterich came back strong in the eighth to strike out the side. In the ninth, Tech brought in closer Luke Bard, and the Bulldogs put runners at the corners with two outs to bring up Farmer, and he hit the first pitch to Skole at third for a groundout to end the contest. It was the fifth save for Bard. Grimes got the win to improve to 5-1 while Hawkins fell to 1-2.
“It was a well-played game, and we had some chances but couldn’t get that big hit on the road tonight,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “Tech has a good lineup and Grimes got a lot of punchouts so you've got to give them credit tonight. The key for us is to keep our focus, get ready for the weekend and continue to get those types of opportunities to win ball games.”
Georgia will be back in action Friday for the first of a three-game SEC series against fourth-ranked Florida (26-8, 9-3 SEC). The Gators lost to 11th-ranked Florida State 3-1 Tuesday. FSU claimed the season series over Florida three games to one. First pitch at Foley Field Friday is slated for 7:06 p.m., and the game will be televised by CSS.