Record crowd watches Tech beat Georgia on the diamond, 9-4
Crowd of 4,609 gathers for rival showdown at ChandlerStadium
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.