ATLANTA — Nick Montgomery pitched five strong innings in his first career start and Georgia beat Georgia Tech 3-2 on Tuesday night to salvage one win in the three-game season series between the state rivals.
Georgia Tech beat Georgia on each school’s campus, but the Bulldogs, No. 7 in the Baseball America poll, improved to 5-1 against the No. 25 Yellow Jackets in games played at Turner Field.
Georgia (34-17) beat the Yellow Jackets after clinching the Southeastern Conference championship by winning a weekend series at Vanderbilt. Georgia Tech (36-16) lost for the first time in 12 games this season against teams from the state of Georgia.
Montgomery (2-1), a senior, gave up only two hits and one run in five innings, the longest outing of his career.
Joshua Fields pitched a perfect ninth inning, striking out the last two batters, for his 16th save.
Ryan Peisel had two hits, including a first-inning homer, for Georgia after the Yellow Jackets took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on Derek Dietrich’s run-scoring single.
Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham, second in the nation with 22 homers, was 1-for-3, leaving his batting average at .401.
David Thoms gave Georgia a 2-1 lead when he drove in Matt Cerione with a second-inning single.
Georgia pushed the lead to 3-1 in the fifth. Tech scored one run in the sixth when Charlie Blackmon reached on an infield single and scored from second on Thoms’ throwing error from second base while trying to complete a double play.
Georgia Tech freshman Deck McGuire, a 6-foot-6 right-hander, gave up 10 hits and three runs in six innings.
McGuire (8-1) kept the game close while pitching out of trouble in the third and sixth innings.
Georgia had the bases loaded with one out in the third and didn’t score and had a runner thrown out at the plate in the sixth, when it left runners on second and third.
McGuire had defensive help in the third when third baseman Brad Feltes made a bare-handed pickup of a slow grounder by Joey Lewis and accurate throw to first to leave the bases loaded.
Georgia had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth when Peisel hit a long single to right-center.
Matt Cerione held at second while waiting to see if the ball was caught, slipped when finally starting to run and was thrown out on second baseman Thomas Nichols’ throw to the plate.
Georgia left fielder Lyle Allen made a diving catch on the warning track of Jeff Rowland’s long fly ball in the third inning. Allen, running toward the wall, left his feet and landed hard. He immediately bounced to his feet but was grimacing as he appeared to favor his left arm.
Allen was replaced by Adam Fuller in the fifth inning.