ATLANTA — Eighth-ranked Georgia Tech used a six-run outburst in the eighth inning to rally past Georgia 6-4 Tuesday at Turner Field.
Bulldog freshman left-hander Blake Dieterich had the best outing of his career as he provided five shutout innings before giving way to sophomore Michael Palazzone. Dieterich allowed a double with two walks and two strikeouts in his third career start. Georgia threatened in the fifth, putting runners at second and third with one out.
However, Georgia Tech sophomore Mark Pope registered back-to-back strikeouts of Chase Davidson and Carson Schilling to keep it a scoreless game.
The Yellow Jackets (35-7) had a chance to score in the first, putting runners at the corners with two outs but Dieterich retired Matt Skole on a popout. In the sixth, Jeff Rowland reached on a one-out base hit, stole second and was stranded at third when Palazzone struck out Tony Plagman.
Georgia (12-29) pushed across a couple of runs in the sixth inning on five hits including four that didn’t leave the infield.
Freshman third baseman Todd Hankins started the rally with a bunt single. Sophomore left fielder Johnathan Taylor followed with a base hit to left. Sophomore right fielder Peter Verdin reached on an infield single to load the bases for sophomore second baseman Levi Hyams. He registered a run-scoring single.
Pope retired sophomore centerfielder Zach Cone on a pop out and struck out freshman shortstop Kyle Farmer to bring up freshman designated hitter Robert Shipman.
He lined a sharp single off Pope’s leg that scored Taylor for a 2-0 edge. Then, Pope collected his ninth strikeout by getting Davidson for the third time on the night and avoided a big inning by the Bulldogs.
Palazzone got the first out of the seventh and Georgia looked to senior left-hander Justin Earls. He gave up back-to-back singles to Skole and Buford High graduate Chase Burnette. He retired Thomas Nichols on a popout and then second baseman Jacob Esch flew out to center to keep it a 2-0 contest.
In the eighth, Jeff Rowland reached with a one-out double and Derek Dieterich hit a sinking line drive to center for a base hit as Rowland took third. Plagman delivered a sacrifice fly to put the Yellow Jackets on the board and make it 2-1. At that point, Georgia brought in senior Jeff Walters and Cole Leonida lined his first offering up the middle for a base hit. Skole worked the count full and smashed a two-run triple to right and the Yellow Jackets grabbed their first lead at 3-2.
Burnette hit the next pitch to center for a run-scoring double to make it 4-2. The inning continued when Nichols and Esch reached on walks to load the bases for Evan Martin.
He smashed a two-run double to right and it was 6-2 as Georgia lifted Walters in favor of junior Justin Grimm. Walters did not retire a batter and surrendered four runs on four hits with two walks.
Grimm made his first relief appearance since the 2008 College World Series Finals. Since then, he started 15 games in 2009 and 10 starts this season.
He pitched the final 1.1 innings and allowed one hit, a walk and struck out two.
In the bottom of the eighth, Bulldog freshman Brett DeLoach came through with a pinch-hit, two-run double off Andrew Robinson to cut the deficit to 6-4. Pope ran his record to 8-0, going seven innings and allowing just two runs on seven hits with a walk and nine strikeouts. Walter took the loss to fall to 1-5.
“It’s obvious that we’re missing a couple of big boppers in the middle of our lineup to help us score some runs,” said Georgia coach David Perno. “But it’s evident that our guys are trying hard out there and are continuing to fight. (Mark) Pope was great but we were able to hang in there and fight against him.”
“(Blake) Dieterich did a great job tonight, and both (Carson) Schilling and (Brett) DeLoach helped us at the plate. We had the chance to score some runs but really missed some opportunities. I’m just proud that this group is hanging in there. For having gone what these guys have gone through, I’m very pleased with the way that they’ve hung in there and are still playing hard.”
Georgia will be back in action Wednesday when it plays host to Western Carolina. First pitch at Foley Field is slated for 5 p.m.