May 31, 2008
ATHENS, Ga. - Justin McClanahan belted a pair of home runs and Chris Dominguez drilled one of his own, but it was not enough as Georgia Tech topped the University of Louisville 8-5 in the first round of the NCAA Athens Regional. The Cardinals will face homestanding Georgia, the top seed in the regional and number eight seed nationally, in an elimination game Saturday at 3:06 p.m. ET.
Number two seed Georgia Tech (40-19) took a 1-0 lead in the first without a benefit of a hit. A leadoff walk to Charlie Blackmon, a wild pitch, a stolen base and a sac fly by Luke Merton put the Yellow Jackets on top.
A mini two-out rally in the second loaded the bases on two singles and a walk and Blackmon's RBI single put Tech up 2-0 with Stewart Ijames's throw to the plate cutting down what would have been the second run of the inning, ending the frame.
The Cardinals (41-20) were scoreless through five innings, but took a short-lived lead in the sixth.
John Dao doubled into the alley in right and an out later, McClanahan drilled a 1-2 pitch into the trees in left field for his 11th home run of the season, a two-run shot that tied the game at two.
Dominguez followed with another of his tape-measure shots that he lined over the trees in left center, also on a 1-2 offering, putting the Cards on top. It was his 21st of the season, tying him with Dan Kopriva for seventh on the single season list.
Tech regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth. The Jackets loaded the bases on a hit batter, a single and a walk by Cardinal starter Justin Marks, bringing Thomas Royse out of the bullpen. A lined shot to Dominguez at third was the second out of the inning, but Blackmon hit a infield single that tied the game and a throwing error on that same play by McClanahan allowed the second run to score, putting the Jackets on top for good.
An RBI single by Tony Plagman and a two-run home run from Jason Haniger extended the Tech advantage to 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh.
McClanahan went yard for the second time in the game, a leadoff shot on a 2-0 pitch in the eighth to trim the advantage to 7-4. It was the second time on the season and third time in his career that the senior hit two home runs in a game.
An unearned run crossed the plate for the Yellow Jackets in the eighth, for an 8-4 lead.
The top of the ninth opened with a single up the middle by Andrew Clark and a double into the right field corner by Phil Wunderlich.
Drew Haynes's sac fly to left made it 8-5, but Tech recorded the final two outs to seal the win.
Marks (9-2) was saddled with the loss, allowing four runs - three earned on six hits and four walks, striking out four in 5.1 IP.
Royse gave up three runs on four hits, striking out a pair in an inning and two-thirds. Jon Clarence walked the only batter he faced, allowing an unearned run. Gavin Logsdon retired the only two batters he faced, and Gabriel Shaw closed things out, picking up a strikeout in a third of an inning.
GT starter David Duncan gave up three runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out one in 5.2 frames. Andrew Robinson improved to 4-2 despite giving up two runs on four hits in 2.2 IP. Brad Rulon entered with the tying run on deck and consequently earned his sixth save of the season, working the final two-thirds of an inning.
McClanahan and Jeff Arnold each had three hits for the Cardinals, as they outhit Tech 12-10. Seven of the 12 hits went for extra bases.