Bakker Outduels Sleeth as No. 5 Georgia Tech Shuts Out No. 22 Wake Forest, 2-0
Kyle Bakker tosses the second complete-game shutout of his career.
April 18, 2003
ATLANTA - Kyle Bakker threw a six-hit shutout and outdueled Kyle Sleeth as fifth-ranked Georgia Tech (30-7, 9-1 ACC) defeated visiting Wake Forest (23-13, 7-8 ACC), 2-0, on Friday night at Russ Chandler Stadium in the opener of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series.
Bakker (7-0) won his 11th consecutive decision dating back to the 2002 season and tossed the second complete-game shutout of his career. His only prior complete-game shutout, came against Coastal Carolina in the 2002 NCAA Atlanta Regional, in which he held the Chanticleers to just three hits in a 3-0 Georgia Tech victory. Friday night, he allowed six hits, all singles, and did not walk a batter while striking out a season-high eight batters. He needed just 94 pitches to go the distance, throwing 72 strikes, and he threw first pitch strikes to 26 of 34 batters.
"Kyle Bakker's performance was reminiscent of his start against South Carolina in the College World Series [an 11-0 shutout]," said Tech head coach Danny Hall. "He just dominated, and he pitched out of trouble when he had to. The key was no walks, eight strikeouts and a low pitch count. I thought we made some nice plays behind him defensively. He was the whole story tonight."
"Wake Forest doesn't lose too much on Friday nights with Kyle Sleeth on the mound. Tonight was one of those classic pitching matchups. We were fortunate to win because I thought Sleeth was outstanding."
Sleeth (6-2) took the loss despite an equally as strong outing. He worked 7.1 innings and allowed two runs on five hits, all singles, and one walk while striking out nine batters.
After Bakker and Sleeth traded zeroes for the first three innings, the Yellow Jackets finally broke through in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 1-0 lead. Eric Patterson led off the inning with a single past a diving shortstop Ben Ingold. Patterson stole second base and took third on a throwing error from catcher Ryder Mathias, but was thrown out at home on Brandon Boggs' fielder's choice ground ball to first baseman Jeff Ruziecki. Tech created another scoring opportunity when Boggs duplicated Patterson's effort by stealing second base and taking third on an error from Mathias, and Jeremy Slayden laced a RBI single to center field to drive in Boggs.
Tech had another scoring opportunity in the bottom of the sixth, putting runners on first and third bases with one out after Patterson singled, stole second base, and took third on a passed ball, and Boggs walked. But Sleeth worked out of the jam after Matt Murton hit a check swing pop up that was caught by a diving Chris Getz and Boggs was doubled off first base.
Meanwhile, Bakker was cruising along through the Wake Forest batting order. He retired 15 of the first 18 batters in the game before the Demon Deacons posed a threat in the sixth inning. Wake Forest loaded the bases with two outs, but Bakker struck out Jeff Ruziecki to end the threat. Bakker retired nine of the final 10 batters in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
The Yellow Jackets added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 2-0 lead. Tyler Greene led off the inning with a single through the left side and Jake Hall put runners on first and second after he beat out a sacrifice bunt attempt. After Andy Hawranick moved the runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Patterson drove in Greene with a sacrifice fly to center field off Wake Forest reliever Kirby Wedekind.
Georgia Tech and Wake Forest will continue the three-game series on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Radio coverage for Saturday's game will be available on "790 The Zone" (790 AM) in Atlanta, while Sunday's game will be carried on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta). Live statistics and the radio broadcast will be available on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com.