ATLANTA - Jacob Esch drew a bases-loaded walk to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the eighth, and Andrew Robinson pitched a flawless ninth as the No. 3 Georgia Tech baseball team defeated rival Georgia, 6-5, Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets have now won five-straight games at Russ Chandler Stadium against the Bulldogs, and improve to 14-1 on the season. Georgia fell to 8-9 overall with the loss.
It may not have been the most thrilling way to win a game, but it was a great finish for the Jackets to an exciting rivalry game between the two.
Junior Derek Dietrich was hit by pitch to lead off the inning, junior Chase Burnette was walked, and senior Jay Dantzler took the same approach after taking four straight balls from Georgia relief pitcher Alex McRae (0-1). After striking out the next two batters, McRae appeared to be on his way to getting out of the jam, but Esch did not swing at a single pitch on the next at-bat as Dietrich jogged home for the win.
Tech senior pitcher Andrew Robinson (2-0), who has made 80 career appearances on the mound, retired the side in the ninth by forcing a pop-up and striking out the final two for his second win of the season.
Robinson pitched 2.0 scoreless innings of relief while allowing just one hit in the process.
The Jackets belted three home runs in the game, including two in the first inning off Georgia freshman starter Blake Dieterich to jump out to an early 4-0 lead.
Junior center fielder Jeff Rowland led off the game with a solo shot to right field, before senior Tony Plagman belted a two-run homer off of the CSS television truck in right center. The home run was the 41st of his career, and ties for him eighth on Tech all-time list.
Tech added another in the bottom of the second, on a solo home run from senior Jay Dantzler.
Georgia clawed its way back, with two runs in the sixth, followed by three in the seventh to take a 6-5 lead. Bulldog centerfielder Zach Cone led the charge with two triples to left field, bringing in three of the four runs.
Junior catcher Cole Leonida led the rally for the Jackets in the bottom of the seventh, delivering an RBI single up the middle off UGA's Cooper Moseley to tie the game. Leonida brought in the go-ahead run in Tech's previous two games.
The Jackets resume Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend with a three game series at Maryland in College Park, Md. Friday's game will begin at 6 p.m., as both Saturday and Sunday are set for 1 p.m. starts.
GATORS GASH SEMINOLES:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Fourth-ranked Florida State (13-3) fell to sixth-ranked Florida (13-3) 8-5 on Tuesday evening in front of a season-high crowd of 4,773 inside Alfred McKethan Stadium. With the win, the Gators evened the season-series at a game a piece with two more regular season games scheduled between these intra-state rivals.
Florida State took an early 5-2 lead after two innings, but Florida scored five unanswered runs over the third, fourth and fifth innings to win their third in a row at home over the Seminoles.
"You get a three-run lead right from the start and then again in the second, you have to be feeling pretty good," said head coach Mike Martin. "Take your hat off to the University of Florida; they did a very good job of getting it done. I thought with a three-run lead we could possibly piece it together and we just couldn't seem to get an out when we needed one. But that is a credit to Florida."
Tyler Holt led the Garnet and Gold on Tuesday with two hits including an RBI double in the second. Mike McGee connected on a first inning home run, his team-leading fourth of the season, while finishing the game with three RBI.
For the second straight game against the Gators, the Seminoles went on top early scoring three runs in the top of the first. McGee unloaded on a 2-2 offering from Hudson Randall putting the ball in the bleachers in left for a three-run shot and the early lead. The home run was his fourth of the season and second in as many games. Holt led off the game with a single to right center, while Stephen Cardullo laced a base hit through the left side of the infield.
The Gators answered right back in the bottom half of the inning with a little long ball of their own. Josh Adams went opposite field sneaking a 1-0 pitch from FSU starter Robert Benincasa just inside the right field foul pole for a two-run shot. Matt den Dekker scored on the play after reaching first on a passed ball following a strikeout to lead things off for the Gators.
FSU went back on top by three scoring two more runs in the second for a 5-2 advantage. With one out and Jayce Boyd and Parker Brunelle aboard at second and first, respectively, Holt ripped a double that went off the glove of Gator third baseman Bryson Smith. The ball trickled into foul territory allowing plenty of time for Boyd to cross home plate. James Ramsey followed with an RBI groundout to second plating Brunelle for the fifth Seminole run of the game.
After both starting pitchers retired the side in order, Florida cut the deficit to 5-3 on a solo home run by Preston Tucker in the third.
A fly out sandwiched between a pair of walks ended the evening for Benincasa in the third. The freshman right hander went 2.2 innings allowing three runs, two earned, on two hits. Hunter Scantling (0-1) was first out of the bullpen on Tuesday night as the sophomore right hander got Tyler Thompson to fly out to Ramsey in right for the final out of the inning.
The Gators grabbed their first lead of the game with three runs in the fourth off Scantling to take a one run lead. Things could have been much worse for the Seminoles if it wasn't for an outstanding leaping catch by Ramsey at the wall in right center robbing Tucker of what would have been a grand slam. The play resulted in a sac-fly to tie the game at 5-5. UF designated hitter Austin Maddox followed with another sac-fly to right to give the Gators a 6-5 lead. The result of the catch by Ramsey saved two runs to keep the Noles in striking distance.
Tyler Everett looked as though he was on his way to a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth after recording back-to-back strikeouts and getting ahead in the count to Kamm Washington. But the Gator right fielder took a 1-2 pitch and laced a single to center to keep the inning alive. The next three batters reached on a single to left center by den Dekker and consecutive walks to Adams and Tucker. Tucker's walk came with the bases loaded to bring home Washington and pushing the Gator lead to 7-5. Everett was able to get out of the inning without further damage getting Maddox to ground back to the mound for the third out.
Everett finished the game tying a season-high with three innings of work against the Gators. He allowed two runs on five hits as he walked two and struck out three. The two runs given up by Everett were the first allowed by the junior right hander in seven appearances and over 13 innings of work this year.
The Seminoles put a pair of runners on in the sixth but came away empty as Nick Maronde (1-0) registered back-to-back strikeouts to maintain Florida's two-run lead. Both Tapley and Gonzalez drew a walk to reach base in the inning.
Maronde worked two scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season.
Tucker drove in his fourth run of the game in the seventh singling through the right side off Tye Buckley to give the Gators the winning margin at 8-5.
Buckley and Daniel Bennett each worked two-thirds of an inning in relief on Tuesday.
UF's Kevin Chapman threw the final three innings for the Gators as he allowed just one hit and struck out three to earn his third save of the season.
"Well, you just got to tip your hat," said head coach Mike Martin. "That was just about as dominating a performance from their bullpen as you can have. The last guy (Kevin Chapman) pitched lights out."
The Seminoles will remain on the road as they head to Chapel Hill to face North Carolina for a three-game conference series this weekend. Fans can listen in locally on 1270 the Team, 94.3 FM (Friday) and on 100.7 FM (Saturday and Sunday) and on the web at Seminoles.com.