By: Nolan Ryan Alexander
Georgia Tech 6 Southern Mississippi 2
A battle between two struggling offenses resulted in a second inning offensive awakening for the Georgia Tech bats as the Yellow Jackets (41-20) defeated Southern Miss (39-18) by a 6-2 margin. Tech scored all the runs in would need in the bottom of the second when Daniel Palka began the inning with a home run to right. His solo shot was the first of four straight hits for the Jackets. Brandon Thomas cleared the bases with a three run homer to left to give Tech a 5-0 lead. The Jackets poked across another run in the third on a RBI single by shortstop Jacob Esch. It took 32 innings for Southern Mississippi to hit the scoreboard when the Golden Eagles ended their scoreless streak on a RBI groundout from B.A. Vollmuth and a sacrifice fly by Ashley Graeter in the eith inning. Tech was backed by a solid outing from starter Jed Bradley (7-3) who gave up eight hits and retired four on strikes to give Tech all the room it would need to easily pass USM.
“We are a much happier group today. I thought there were a couple keys to the game today, Jed started off really well and Brandon (Thomas) was able to hit the home run and give us a big inning. We got a nice lead after the second inning and pretty much stayed in control throughout the rest of the game.”-GT coach Danny Hall
Collin Cargill pitched the final 5.1 innings for USM holding the Jackets scoreless. Starter Josh Thomason (2-3) lasted only an inning and a third giving up four earned runs. Dillon Day pitched just as long but gave up two runs along with three walks and two strikeouts.
The season ends for Southern Miss with two losses in the Atlanta regional. Georgia Tech will play Austin Peay Sunday at 3 P.M. where the winner will take on Mississippi State in the nightcap at 7 P.M.
Mississippi State 8 Austin Peay 3
Evan Mitchell made a memorable homecoming to Atlanta and almost came away with a complete game shutout as MSU rolled over Austin Peay 8-3. The nearby Marietta, GA, native Mitchell (6-1) lasted 8 innings before finally allowing three earned runs in the ninth inning. Mitchell struck out eight batters and walked five on 128 pitches. The loss went to OVC Pitcher of the Year Jeremy Dobbs (9-3). Dobbs only lasted 3.2 innings giving up three earned runs on five hits. Out of the five pitchers the Governors used, Mississippi State came away with ten hits and just four strikeouts. The scoring started early for the Bulldogs when Nick Vickerson doubled to right center to give MSU a 1 run advantage. The offense exploded in the fourth inning when 7 Bulldogs came home to score. There were six hits in the MSU inning and only one runner was left on base. Austin Peay head coach Gary McClure was ejected in the inning when he argued a play at the plate when MSU runner Jarrod Parks scored to give the Bulldogs a then four run lead.
Austin Peay (34-23) will play Georgia Tech again at 3 PM where the loser’s season is completed. The Governors defeated the Jackets 2-1 on Friday.
Mississippi State(36-23) will await the winner of the Austin Peay-Georgia Tech game. State’s game will take place at 7 PM.