It was a tough night for the Yellow Jackets as they could only muster up one run against the school whose basketball team upset Duke in the NCAA Tournament only a few days ago, as Mercer won the game 4-1.
Mercer got the scoring started in the top of the third inning. After leading off the inning with a double and advancing to third on a sac bunt, freshman SS Matt Meeder came around to score on a single from senior 2B Michael Massi.
The Yellow Jackets would fight back in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game. With runners on second and third with one out, freshman RF Keenan Innis came up to the plate. On the 1-2 pitch, Innis grounded out to second. While Innis was thrown out, the time it took to get him out was long enough for junior 1B Thomas Smith to score from third.
Mercer would start to break away in the top of the fifth inning. With nobody on and two outs, Massi scorched a double down the LF line. He would come home to score after a fielding error by senior 2B Mott Hyde.
Mercer would score again in the top of the seventh and eighth innings. With a runner on third and two outs in the top of the seventh inning, senior RF Derrick Workman brought home junior 3B Chesny Young on a 1-1 single into RF. In the top of the eighth inning, with a runner on second and two outs, senior CF Sasha LaGarde hit a single through the right side to bring home senior 1B Austin Barrett for the final run of the game.
I am not quite sure I understand Mercer's strategy with the pitching. Starting the game for Mercer Tuesday night was senior RHP Brandon Barker. In his lone inning of work, Barker allowed no runs on two hits, with no strikeouts or walks. Coming on for Barker in the second inning, was senior RHP Stephen Glaze. In his lone inning of work, Glaze allowed zero runs on zero hits, with a strikeout and a walk. Coming on to pitch the third inning for the Bears was junior LHP Grant Papelian. He pitched a perfect inning, with no strikeouts or walks. I guess Mercer decided they did not want to use nine pitchers, so starting in the fourth inning, Mercer pitchers started going more than an inning. Pitching the fourth and fifth innings for Mercer was freshman RHP (and giant) Ryan Askew. Standing at 6-6, 240, Askew allowed one run on three hits and struck out two batters. Pitching the final 4.0 innings for the Bears was junior RHP Dmitri Kourtis. Kourtis allowed zero runs on zero hits, while striking out four batters and walking one. Ryan Askew was credited with the win, and Dmitri Kourtis with the save.
Starting the game for the Yellow Jackets was freshman LHP Ben Parr. In his 5.0 innings of work, Parr allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits, with five strikeouts and two walks. Parr pitched a total of 100 pitches (a quick note: nobody else in the game pitched more than 43). Coming on to record the first two outs of the sixth inning was another freshman LHP, Tanner Shelton. Shelton allowed zero runs on zero hits, with a strikeout and three walks. Finishing that inning and pitching the next inning for the Yellow Jackets was sophomore LHP Sam Clay. Clay allowed a single run on a single hit, with three strikeouts and a single walk. Pitching the eighth inning for the Yellow Jackets was senior RHP Jonathan Roberts. Roberts allowed one run on two hits and struck out a batter. Finishing the game for the Yellow Jackets was freshman RHP and former midweek starter Zac Ryan. Ryan allowed zero runs on a hit, with no strikeouts or walks. Ben Parr was credited with the loss.
The pitching staff pitched very well for both sides Tuesday night. Personally, I am proud of Ben Parr for pitching 100 pitches. That is no easy task, especially for a college freshman. I just wish he could have gotten some more run support. Georgia Tech's next game comes Friday afternoon at 3 PM against the Pittsburgh Panthers, to open up a three-game set. All three games this weekend will be available on 91.1 FM WREK.