Athens - Brandon Stephens’ ground ball with two outs in the bottom of the night barely eluded the glove of Georgia Tech shortstop Elliott Barzilli and scored Sean McLaughlin from third base as the Georgia Bulldogs beat the Yellow Jackets 1-0 at Foley Field.
McLaughlin was pinch-running for Zack Bowers, who walked with one out. McLaughlin stole second base and reached third on what was ruled an error on the throw of catcher Mitch Earnest. Tech coach Danny Hall argued that should have been catcher’s interference.
“To get a win like that feels great,” said Stephens, a junior from Marietta. “I was just happy to get it for my team, to get the W for them. I wish we could have got the W for Robert.”
Starter Robert Tyler went eight innings for the Bulldogs, giving up just two hits, striking out 5 and walking one on exactly 100 pitches. Stephens, Georgia’s catcher, was 1-for-4 on the night. Bowers finished the night 3-for-3 at the plate.
The Bulldogs won their fourth straight and improve to 6-6 on the season. They’ll play Tech twice more this season.
The Yellow Jackets fall to 7-5 and have lost three of their last four to Georgia. Thomas Smith had both hits for Tech.
It looked for an instant like Georgia might take an early lead when Jared Walsh launched a shot high in the air to the right-field wall just 314-feet away. But the frigid air didn’t allow the ball to escape the yard, Tech’s Ryan Peurifoy hauled in the fly on the warning track, then unleashed a laser to first base to double-up Hunter Cole on first base. That proved costly as Bowers and Daniel Nichols followed with singles. The inning ended when Stephens flied out to left field.
In the fifth inning, Tech’s Thomas Smith reached on a fielder’s choice and got to third after a walk and wide pitch. After A.J. Murray stole second, Mitch Earnest flied out to center to end the threat.
The Jackets would threaten again in the eighth inning. Thomas Smith got to third base on a bunt single, throwing error and fielder’s choice. But on his 100th pitch of the night, Tyler got Daniel Spingola to fly out to center field.