ATLANTA----Freshman Ben Parr tossed six shutout innings to lead 25th-ranked Georgia Tech to a 4-1 win over Georgia Tuesday at Russ Chandler Stadium to even the season series. On March 4th in Athens, it was the Bulldogs posting a 1-0 shutout of the Yellow Jackets.
The final game of the series with Tech will be May 13 at Turner Field in the 12th annual Spring Baseball Classic For Kids that benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. Georgia holds an 8-3 lead in the series at Turner Field including a historic 17-0 rout last year.
In the first inning, Tech (24-14) struck for three runs on two hits and was helped out by a pair of bases-loaded walks. The first run crossed the plate on an RBI-double by Matt Gonzalez. Bulldog senior left-hander Patrick Boling ended up throwing 40 pitches and was lifted with two outs and the bases loaded. Senior Dylan Cole came in and got the Bulldogs out of further trouble when he retired Mitch Earnest on a fly out to end the first frame.
Georgia (21-15-1) got its first hit with one out in the second inning when junior first baseman Daniel Nichols lined a double to left field. Parr responded by striking out the next two hitters. Georgia managed just one base runner in each of the next four innings. It had a two-out walk by Hunter Cole in the third, a one-out single by Zack Bowers in the fourth, a one-out single by Skyler Weber in the fifth and a two-out single by Nelson Ward in the sixth. Parr struck out seven and allowed four hits in six innings to earn the win and improved his record to 4-1. Boling dropped to 3-3. Dusty Isaacs pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
“It was a disappointing start and not what we were expecting out of Patrick Boling,” said Georgia coach Scott Stricklin. “He’s a senior, and we’re looking for more consistency. He was not the same pitcher that was so good last Tuesday in beating Clemson. Also, we struck out nine times and walked them eight times, and that’s not going to work out in your favor most nights. Still, I was encouraged by some of the guys in the bullpen. Dylan Cole threw the ball well, Jarrett Brown and Heath Holder finished up strong for us. We’ve got some depth on the mound. “
Cole provided a career-high three innings of scoreless relief including pitching around a wind-aided leadoff triple in the fourth by Ryan Peurifoy. The wind was gusting between 22-to-35 miles per hour throughout the contest. With runners at the corners and two outs, junior Ross Ripple came in for Cole and retired Gonzalez to keep it a 3-0 contest. Ripple went 1.1 scoreless innings and then sophomore Pete Nagel started the bottom of the sixth for the Bulldogs.
Tech made it 4-0 in the sixth. Earnest reached on a one-out walk, took second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit from Mott Hyde. At that point, junior left-hander Jarrett Brown came in to replace Nagel and he took care of the rest of the inning. Junior Heath Holder tied a career-high with two scoreless innings for the Bulldogs and registered one strikeout. It was just his second appearance on the mound this season.
Georgia spoiled the shutout bid in the eighth. Freshman Mike Bell collected a leadoff double off of Ben Schniederjans. He advanced to third on a groundout by Stephen Wrenn and scored on a groundout by Cole.
Georgia returns to action Friday when it begins an SEC series at ninth-ranked Florida (24-13, 9-6 SEC). The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be available on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network from IMG College and be televised by CSS.