Baseball completes sweep against Southern

Junior Zane Evans rounds first base. Evans had three homeruns and six RBIs in two games at Georgia Southern. / Photo by Alan Tahler

The No. 20 ranked Tech baseball team headed down to Statesboro, Ga. on Tuesday Feb. 26 to take on the Georgia Southern Eagles in a two game series. Tech continued to perform well at the plate as they won the first game 11-4, and the second game of the series 14-8. Tech is now 8-1 and has won three games in a row.

“They have a really good club and we had to battle both days to sweep them,” said head coach Danny Hall, courtesy of ramblinwreck.com.

Sophomore Josh Heddinger took the mound for the Jackets to start the game on Tuesday, but his appearance would not last long. The Eagles would rough Heddinger up for three runs on only two hits in just 1.2 innings. Tech trailed 2-1 after the first. The Eagles would add one run in each the second and fourth innings to go up 4-1, but then the Tech bats came to life.

The Jackets put up five runs in the sixth inning, including a homerun by junior catcher Zane Evans, to take a 6-4 lead. Evans was not finished just yet. In his next plate appearance Evans hit another homerun, this time a three run shot that would give Tech 9-4 advantage over the Eagles.

Tech would add a run in the eighth on a triple by third basemen Sam Dove, and then added another on a double by freshman Matt Gonzalez in the ninth inning to go up 11-4 before freshman Jonathan King came in to seal it.

King struck out five of the seven batters he faced and did not allow a hit.

Evans finished the day with three hits and five RBIs. Sophomore A.J. Murray also played well for the Jackets with two hits in four at-bats to go with a walk, an RBI and three runs. Dove would finish the game two-for-five at the plate.

“Zane’s got three home runs in his last two games in this park,” said Hall. “He got off to a slow start this season, but he’s a great hitter and a great competitor and had a great night for us tonight,” courtesy of ramblinwreck.com.

Freshman lefty Sam Clay would take the mound on Wednesday night for the Jackets. Once again, the Eagles were able to strike early and often as Clay would be tagged for four hits and four earned runs in just 1.2 innings pitched. Luckily for Tech, the offense picked up where it had left off Tuesday night.

Tech scored nine runs in the first four innings including solo homers by both Sam Dove and Daniel Palka, to go up 9-4 after the top of the fourth.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Eagles would score four runs off junior Jonathan Roberts to cut the lead to 9-8, but that would be all the scoring the Eagles would get on the night.

Junior Dusty Isaacs, junior DeAndre Smelter and Evans, who played on both sides of the ball for the night, would combine for five innings of shutout ball as the Jackets would go on to win 14-8.

Evans finished the game two for three with from the plate with a homerun, his third of the series, and an RBI.

Right fielder Daniel Palka went four for five with two RBIs and a solo homerun. Freshman second basemen Matt Gonzalez added three RBIs for the Jackets after going one-for-four at the plate. Gonzalez now has a team high 17 RBIs on the season.

Tech will look to continue their winning ways and hot hitting tonight when they begin a three game series against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Russ Chandler Stadium. Tech will begin conference play on March 8 when the Jackets head to Blacksburg, Va.