ATLANTA, Ga. – Georgia Tech used four home runs to slug its way to a 10-0 win over Mercer in game two of the NCAA Atlanta Regional on Friday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The loss means that Mercer (37-23) will take on Elon (38-23) on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in an elimination game for both clubs.
“Just a special environment tonight with a great crowd and I thought we really came out ready to play with some great energy,” said head coach Craig Gibson. “We ran up against a great club tonight and I think it is easy to see why they are the eighth-seed nationally.”
Sophomore Billy Burns collected Mercer's first NCAA Tournament hit in program history when he leadoff the first with a single. Burns was eventually picked off and the Bears went in order to end their half of the inning.
Georgia Tech started the scoring in the bottom of the first when senior Tony Plagman clubbed a solo home run, his 20th of the season, to give the Yellow Jackets an early 1-0 lead.
Plagman struck again in the bottom of the third with his second home run of the game, a two-run shot, to increase Tech's lead to 3-0.
Mercer tried to rally in the fourth off Georgia Tech starter Mark Pope. After a leadoff double by senior Tyler McCarty and an infield single by sophomore Jacob Tanis, junior Thomas Carroll grounded into a double play to end the threat.
The Yellow Jackets continued to add to their lead in the bottom half of the fourth with another three runs. After an RBI groundout by junior Jeff Rowland put Tech up 4-0, senior Jay Dantzler lifted the home team's third home run of the game, another two-run shot, to make the score 6-0.
Georgia Tech put the game away in the eighth when sophomore Jacob Esch hit a solo home run and sophomore Matt Skole hit an RBI double to increase its lead to 10-0.
Pope was brilliant all game long for the Yellow Jackets, throwing his first complete game of the season. Pope allowed just five hits on the day and struck out 10 for his eighth win of the season.
Plagman was the driving force behind the home team's offense, going five-for-five in the game with two home runs, three RBI and three runs scored.
Tanis and Burns collected four of the Bears five hits on the evening, each going 2-for-4 in the game.
“I thought overall we had some great at-bats throughout the game, but Pope was just outstanding for nine innings and it was just their night,” said Gibson.