Turner Pitches No. 17 Tech Baseball Past Western Carolina, 4-3
Wes Hodges drive in winning run in the seventh inning.
March 9, 2004
ATLANTA - Freshman Ryan Turner pitched seven strong innings and Wes Hodges drove in two runs, including the game winner in the seventh inning, to lead No. 17 Georgia Tech (9-5) to a 4-3 win over Western Carolina (7-7) on Tuesday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium in the opener of a two-game series. The Yellow Jackets improved to 7-1 at home in 2004.
Turner (1-1) earned his first career win in his second start, working a season-long seven innings. The left-hander allowed three runs on six hits while striking out six and not issuing a walk. After allowing three runs over the first three innings, the rookie settled down to retire 13 of the final 14 batters he faced.
Trailing 3-2, the Yellow Jackets rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 4-3 lead. Tyler Greene led off the inning with a single and stole second base. After a groundout from Steven Blackwood moved the tying run into scoring position, pinch hitter Whit Robbins dropped a single over a drawn in infield to tie the game at 3-3. After Robbins stole second base with two outs, Wes Hodges laced a RBI single to right field to give Tech a 4-3 lead.
Western Carolina struck for a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Chad McKown doubled with two outs and scored on Matt Nelson's RBI single. The Catamounts added two more runs in the third on Jared Greenwood's sacrifice fly and Alex Gray's RBI triple off the top of the left field wall to extend the lead to 3-0.
Tech answered in the bottom of the third inning when Andy Hawranick was hit by a pitch and Hodges, who went 2-for-4, delivered a two-out RBI double to cut the lead to 3-1. In the fifth, Jake Hall singled with two outs and scored when Eric Patterson laced a double to left center and center fielder Matt Nelson bobbled the ball.
Western Carolina reliever Luke Miller (0-1) took the loss, allowing two runs in one inning of work. Starter Brian Barnes pitched well, allowing just one earned run in 5.1 innings, but did not figure in the decision.
Georgia Tech and Western Carolina will continue the two-game series on Wednesday at 4 p.m., and the Yellow Jackets will send sophomore right-hander Jason Neighborgall to the mound. Live statistics will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.