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Jackets reach regional final

POSTED: June 11, 2008 5:02 a.m.

ATHENS — Georgia Tech managed only two extra-base hits against tough Lipscomb, but they were the biggest hits of the game.

Jason Haniger gave Georgia Tech an early lead with a three-run homer, and Brad Feltes broke a tie with a two-run double in the eighth inning as the Yellow Jackets beat Lipscomb 6-3 on Saturday night.

Georgia Tech (41-19) can clinch the regional on the campus of rival Georgia with one more win on Sunday night. Georgia and Lipscomb will play earlier Sunday for the right to face the Yellow Jackets.

“We still have to win one more game to win the regional,” said Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall. “We’re in good position, but we still have to win.”

Haniger has hit homers in each of the Yellow Jackets’ regional wins. His long homer against Lipscomb sailed far over the pine trees behind the left-field wall.

“I actually thought I hit the one better last night,” Haniger said. “I just got under this one a little bit.”
After Haniger’s three-run homer, little Lipscomb, an Atlantic Sun private school in Nashville, Tenn., rallied to pull even at 3-3 through seven innings.

Georgia Tech starter Deck McGuire gave up six hits and three runs in 6 2-3 innings.

Lipscomb (33-29), which beat Georgia 10-7 on Friday night, stayed close thanks to a strong start by Brandon McClurg.

McClurg, who pitched a no-hitter against Kennesaw State on March 29, retired 16 of 17, including 10 in a row, before giving up two singles in the seventh. He escaped the jam when Charlie Blackmon flied out to deep center to end the inning.

“They just have a good team,” said Lipscomb coach Jeff Forehand of Georgia Tech. “Everybody in here knows that. Our game plan again, we just want to be in the game in the late innings. Brandon gave us a chance to do that.”

With the score 3-3, McClurg was pulled with two outs in the eighth and Luke Murton and Derek Dietrich on base. Kyle Tognazzini, who earned the save against Georgia, gave up Feltes’ two-run double to right-center.

Feltes said he took one pitch to try to become more comfortable with Tognazzini’s sidearm delivery.

That was all Feltes needed.

“He threw me one pitch I was able to hit into the gap, and I was pretty excited about it,” Feltes said.

Hall said he felt good about having Feltes at the plate in that situation.

“There’s not a guy I’d rather see up there than him,” Hall said. “He’s been a clutch hitter all season.”
Georgia Tech added another run in the ninth when Blackmon’s single past second baseman Ben Williams drove in Patrick Long.

Lipscomb scored one run in the second and two in the fifth. Blake Bratcher walked to lead off the second and scored on a bases-loaded groundout by Branden Cadavid.

The Bisons tied the game in the fifth on Bratcher’s two-run double to the center-field wall, driving in Jorge Gutierrez and Allen Bolden.

Gutierrez led off the seventh with a double, but McGuire struck out Bolden and Caleb Joseph.

Left-handed reliever Taylor Wood (3-0) struck out Bratcher to end the inning.

Brad Rulon stranded a runner at third base in the ninth for his seventh save.



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