Record crowd watches Tech beat Ge­or­gia on the di­a­mond, 9-4

Crowd of 4,609 gath­ers for ri­val show­down at Chan­dlerS­ta­dium

The Covington News - - Sports - By Ge­orge Henry

AT­LANTA — Luke Mur­ton couldn’t be­lieve the at­mos­phere at Russ Chan­dler Sta­dium on Wed­nes­day night.

With a record crowd of 4,609 at the 24-year-old ball­park, Mur­ton went 4-for-5 and hit a two-run homer in the eighth to help Ge­or­gia Tech beat Ge­or­gia 9-4.

“It was in­cred­i­ble to have this many peo­ple here,” said Mur­ton, a ju­nior des­ig­nated hit­ter. “Other than the play­offs, it’s prob­a­bly the best at­mos­phere I’ve ever played in.”

The Yel­low Jack­ets (26-7) won their sec­ond straight and 13th in 16 games, fin­ish­ing with 16 hits off five Ge­or­gia pitch­ers.

Col­le­giate Base­ball mag­a­zine ranks Tech 10th and the Bull­dogs 11th.

Thomas Nichols’ RBI dou­ble in the sec­ond gave Tech a 2-1 lead it never sur­ren­dered. He added an RBI triple to make it 6-3 in the sev­enth.

Deck McGuire (5-0) al­lowed three runs, four hits and two walks in 5 2-3 in­nings. The fresh­man right-han­der, who struck out seven, couldn’t fin­ish the sixth af­ter Bryce Mas­sa­nari’s two-run sin­gle cut the lead to 5-3.

Ryan Peisel had two RBIs, in­clud­ing a sac­ri­fice fly in the sixth, for Ge­or­gia (20-12), which has lost two straight af­ter win­ning seven in a row.

“Ev­ery once in a while, it’s just not go­ing to work for one rea­son or an­other,” Bull­dogs short­stop Gor­don Beck­ham said af­ter go­ing 2-for-3 and scor­ing a run. “We have to score a lot more runs for th­ese pitch­ers. It’s not fair to leave them out there and not give them more sup­port.”

Bull­dogs coach David Perno pulled starter Alex McRee when the left-han­der couldn’t fin­ish the third. Nathan Moreau (1-1) pitched the next two in­nings, al­low­ing two runs, three hits and one walk.

Moreau, whoseERAhas risen from 2.01 to 4.82 since win­ning at Arkansas on March 16, ended a streak of 26 2-3 con­sec­u­tive score­less in­nings by the Ge­or­gia bullpen.

“I felt like we had some great at-bats against those guys,” Tech coach Danny Hall said. “One thing about Ge­or­gia is they’ve al­ways got good arms, but we were able to take them deep into the count sev­eral times tonight, and I think that made a dif­fer­ence.”

Mur­ton, whose RBI sin­gle in the fifth made it 5-1, hit a fast­ball up and in off Justin Earls.

“It was an awe­some night,” Mur­ton said. “We need to keep up the mo­men­tum.”

Ge­or­gia leads the South­east­ern Con­fer­ence with a 9-3 league record, and Tech is in third place in the At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence at 9-6.

The teams will play twice more, May 7 in Athens and six days later at Turner Field.

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