ATLANTA --Georgia’s Lyle Allen’s one-out single in the top of the ninth scored two runs and broke a 5-5 tie as No. 15 Georgia beat No. 7 Georgia Tech 7-5 Tuesday at Turner Field, the sixth largest regular season crowd in college baseball history and the second largest crowd in the seven year Spring Baseball Classic for Kids.
The Bulldogs (35-17) improved to 6-1 against the Jackets (33-13-1) in the annual matchup at Turner Field and have won the last five.
Rich Poythress started the ninth-inning rally with a one-out double to center that narrowly missed leaving the park followed by an intentional walk to Bryce Massanari. Allen then roped a single up the middle that scored Poythress and a throwing error on the play allowed pinch-runner Peter Verdin to score.
Dean Weaver (3-2) closed the door in the ninth for his second win in as many games. Justin Earls tossed a season-high three scoreless innings. He faced 10 batters and retired nine, and the only batter to reach was on an error. After Matt Skole had Georgia Tech’s first hit of the game with no outs in the second, Georgia pitchers held the Jackets hitless until a single by Jason Haniger to lead off the sixth.
Allen finished 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI and Zach Cone had two hits for Georgia. Matt Cerione and Bryce Massanari drove in two runs apiece.
"It was a big one," Georgia coach David Perno said. "We finally got in a situation where they made a couple of mistakes and gave us chance to overcome our mistakes. We played really well. (Justin) Earls changed everything, and he got control of the game. You rarely see a team not have a big inning and win but we did. Lyle (Allen) was able to get redemption with the big knock after the ball fell in the bottom of the eighth. It was a great experience for our kids and a great win."
Georgia took a 1-0 lead in the first when Colby May scored on a two-out bloop hit by Lyle Allen. Tech then took a 2-1 lead in the second as Chase Burnette walked to leadoff the inning then scored on Thomas Nichols’ fielder’s choice and after a Georgia fielding error loaded the bases, the Jackets scored on a balk to take the lead.
The Bulldogs came back with two more runs in the third as May singled up the middle then Massanari blasted his 19th home run 12 rows deep in the left field seats for a 3-2 Georgia lead.
Georgia took advantage of a Tech error in the fourth and scored two more two-out runs when Matt Cerione’s single to center plated Zach Cone and Levi Hyams to go ahead 5-2.
Tech rallied with three runs in the fifth to knot it up at 5-5. Derek Dietrich and Luke Murton drew back-to-back one-out walks, and Dietrich scored on a single by Tony Plagman to cut the lead to 5-3. Haniger followed with a single, and Cerione threw out Murton at home for the second out of the inning, but a bloop single to left field by Burnette scored two runs and tied the game.
Georgia Tech walked the bases loaded with one out in the top of the eighth, but North Hall High graduate Zach Brewster struck out Adam Fuller and Matt Cerione flew out to left field to end the threat. The Yellow Jackets threatened in the bottom of the inning with a runner on third and one out, but Michael Palazzone struck out Jeff Rowand and Derek Dietrich flew out right field.
Georgia will close out the regular season with a three-game series at South Carolina Thursday through Saturday. All three games will be televised by SportSouth.