May 14, 2004
Atlanta, GA –
Micah Owings shut down #20 Clemson after allowing two runs in the first inning to lead #15 Georgia Tech to an 8-3 victory Friday night in front of 2,408 fans at Russ Chandler Stadium. Owings (7-2) allowed two runs on four hits in a season-high 8.0 innings pitched (129 pitches), including just one hit after the first inning. The win upped Georgia Tech’s winning streak to 11 games overall and a school-record-tying 11 in a row in ACC games. The Yellow Jackets improved to 32-17 overall and 13-5 in ACC play, while the Tigers fell to 32-19 overall, 12-7 in the ACC. Clemson’s five-game winning streak over the Yellow Jackets dating back to 2002 came to an end as well.
Sophomore righthander Josh Cribb (3-1), who made his first start of the season and second of his career, suffered the loss. He allowed seven hits and five earned runs in 4.1 innings pitched.
Clemson got on the board in the first inning thanks to some hard hit balls. Tony Sipp led off the game with a sharp single to right-center. After Travis Storrer fouled off several two-strike pitches, he hit another sharp ball, this time a grounder to second base that was turned for a double play. Brad McCann was then hit on the first pitch of his at-bat. Lou Santangelo followed with an opposite-field home run to right-center on a 1-1 count to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. It was Santangelo’s 14th of the season.
When the Tigers took the field for the bottom of the first, McCann was taken out of the game due to an arm injury suffered on the hit-by-pitch. McCann will be evaluated Saturday morning.
Georgia Tech responded with three runs in the bottom of the first thanks to three two-strike hits. After just missing on several two-strike pitches, Cribb walked Tyler Greene with one out. Steven Blackwood then laced a double to the wall in left field on a 2-2 pitch to plate Greene. Owings followed with a single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch to bring home Blackwood and tie the score. Brandon Boggs then hit another 1-2 pitch from Cribb to left field for a single. Sipp booted the ball, allowing the runners to move up to second and third. The error proved costly, as Clifton Remole gave the Yellow Jackets the lead when he hit a sacrifice fly to center, plating Owings.
The Tigers threatened to even the score in the fifth inning but came up empty. Garrick Evans reached on a throwing error by Greene and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Sipp walked, Storrer hit another sharply-hit grounder, but once again right at the second baseman. Eric Patterson began the 4-6-3 inning-ending double play.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Cribb got into trouble due to control problems. He walked Patterson and Greene to lead off the inning. Blackwood followed with a first-pitch liner to left-center to bring home Patterson. After Owings reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Blackwood out at second, Boggs blasted an 0-1 pitch from Sipp deep over the fence in left field for a three-run homer. It was Boggs’ sixth home run of the season and gave the Yellow Jackets a 7-2 lead.
Georgia Tech added an insurance run in the eighth inning. Back-to-back one-out doubles to left by Mike Trapani and Patterson, with the latter plating a run, gave Georgia Tech an 8-2 lead.
Clemson mounted a rally in the ninth inning. Andy D’Alessio led off with a line-drive single to right field and went to third on pinch-hitter Brady Everett’s double down the third-base line. Russell Triplett then lined a soft single to left to score D’Alessio. But reliever Aaron Walker got pinch-hitter Collin Mahoney to pop up, Sipp to strikeout looking, and Storrer to strikeout swinging to end the game.
Blackwood led the Yellow Jackets’ 12-hit attack with three hits and two RBIs. Six different Tigers accounted for the team’s seven hits, led by D’Alessio’s single and double.
Clemson will face Georgia Tech in game two Saturday at 1:00 PM at Russ Chandler Stadium. The game will be televised live by Fox Sports Net South. Sophomore lefty Robert Rohrbaugh (4-3) will start on the mound for the Tigers.
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