Blackwood's Five Hits Leads Tech Baseball Over Purdue, 18-16
Nickeas, Owings, Greene all homer in the victory.
March 17, 2004
ATLANTA - Steven Blackwood had five hits, and Mike Nickeas, Tyler Greene and Micah Owings all hit home runs as Georgia Tech (11-9) outlasted Purdue (3-8), 18-16, on Wednesday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. The two teams combined for 34 runs and 37 hits.
Blackwood tied a Georgia Tech record with three doubles while establishing a personal best in hits with a 5-for-5 performance. Greene set a career high with four RBI, while Andy Hawranick tied his career high with three hits. Owings, Eric Patterson and Clifton Remole added two hits apiece. The Yellow Jackets had a season-high 19 hits in the game.
Tech's Jordan Crews (1-0) earned the win in relief. John Goodman picked up his third save of the season by recording the final six outs of the game, including three strikeouts, and escaping a jam in the eighth inning.
The two teams combined for 23 runs in the first four innings as the Yellow Jackets held a narrow 12-11 lead. Purdue scored three times in the top of the first inning, including a two-run homer from Ben Fritz, to jump to a 3-0 lead, but Tech answered with seven runs in the bottom of the inning. The Yellow Jackets sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning that was highlighted by a two-run double from Greene, a two-run single from Owings and RBI singles from Brandon Boggs, Hawranick and Patterson.
A two-run homer Mike Coles, his third of the year, pulled the Boilermakers to within 7-5 in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the second, the Yellow Jackets batted around and scored four more runs to take an 11-5 lead. Nickeas hit a two-run homer, his second of the season, and Owings added a solo home run, his team-leading fourth of the year.
Three runs in the top of the third, including a solo home run from John Hunter, made the score 11-8, and Blackwood doubled and scored in the bottom of the inning to make the score 12-8.
Purdue scored three times in the top of the fourth inning, highlighted by a two-run double from Eric Osborn, to cut the lead to 12-11. The Yellow Jackets extended the lead to 13-11 in the fifth when Boggs was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Hawranick doubled and scored in the sixth to make the score 14-11.
The Boilermakers erupted for four runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 15-14 lead. Coles had a RBI double and Mitch Koester added a RBI single, while the Boilermakers also scored on Mitch Hilligoss' squeeze bunt and a throwing error from Tech catcher Andy Hawranick.
Tech answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to retake the lead at 17-15. Blackwood led off the inning with his third double of the game and scored on Whit Robbins' RBI single. Greene followed with a two-run homer, his fourth of the year.
Purdue pulled to within 17-16 in the top of the eighth inning when Simon Klink doubled, moved to third on Eric Wolfe's single and scored when Blackwood misplayed the ball in left field. But Goodman came out of the Tech bullpen and escaped a no outs, runner on third situation to preserve the Jackets' one-run lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, Tech added an insurance run when Patterson tripled and scored on Robbins' sacrifice fly that made the score 18-16.
Purdue's Martin Havens (1-1) took the loss, allowing three runs in 1.1 innings. Wolfe paced the Boilermakers with four hits in five at bats, while Osborn and Coles drove in three runs each.
Georgia Tech visits Wake Forest for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend in Winston-Salem. Radio coverage can be found on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta) and on the internet at www.wrek.org. Live statistics will be available at www.ramblinwreck.com.