Freshman Jeff Rowland’s first career home run capped off a seven-run third inning for the Jackets and freshman starter Deck McGuire. Tech chased off Georgia Southern starter Burt Barto after just 2 2/3 innings. Barto gave up eight earned runs including a home run to freshman Thomas Nichols in the second inning. Kyle Blackburn homered for Southern in the fourth to put the Eagles on the board.
McGuire went seven innings, allowing just three hits and one run on Blackburn’s homer before giving way to freshman Taylor Wood.
In the second inning, Tony Plagman doubled and Nichols took the ball over the right field fence for the first runs of the games.
In the third inning, Nichols and Chris House also pushed runs across ahead of Derek Dietrich’s RBI double and Rowland’s home run.
After retiring the first two hitters, Jeremy Beckham hit a bloop single to center and scored from first on Matt Miller’s triple. Wood struck Jonathan King out to end the inning and got three outs in the ninth for the Tech win.
Tech’s McGuire (1-0) took the win, while Barto took the loss for the Eagles.
In the second game of the series, Tech trotted out former High School All-American pitcher Brandon Cumpton to face Georgia Southern’s Justin Davis.
Patrick Long singled in the bottom of the first and took second on a passed-ball by catcher Griffin Benedict.
For Southern in the third, Jonathan King led off the inning with a walk and reached second on a wild pitch. The very next pitch put Chris Shehan at first on ball four. Cumpton then got Blackburn to fly out to left field before walking A. J. Wirnsberger to load the bases. Cumpton struck out Parker and got Benedict to fly out to left field.
In the bottom of the third, Tech threatened with one out. House and Rowland sandwiched singles around Leonida’s strike out to get runners at first and second with one out. Patrick Long fouled tipped a third strike to Benedict followed by Blackmon getting hit by a pitch to load the bases. Murton then ended the inning with a ground out to the third baseman to end Tech’s threat.
The teams went back-and-forth with Southern threatening in the top of the ninth to score, but Tech pitchers got out of the jam. Then, in the bottom of the 10th, Jason Haniger singled and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. Charlie Blackmon, with two outs, blooped a single over short-stop to score Haniger from second for the walk-off win. Brad Rulon got the win in relief (2-0) and Kyle Kamppi (0-1) took the loss.