Baseball Drops Opener At Georgia Tech
March 18, 2011
ATLANTA, Ga. - Cory Mazzoni allowed three runs, two earned, in 5 1/3 innings Friday night, but the NC State bullpen was unable to keep the game close as the Wolfpack fell 9-2 to Georgia Tech in the first game of a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Georgia Tech took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first without hitting a ball out of the infield. The run was unearned and Mazzoni kept the score at 1-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. Along the way, he put runners on second and third with none out in both the third and fifth innings and pitched out of both jams unscathed. With runners on second and third in the third, he got Matt Skole and Daniel Palka on fly balls, then ended the inning by striking out Zane Evans. With the bases loaded and none out in the fifth, Mazzoni got Skole to hit a one-hopper back to the mound for a 1-2-3 double play. Palka grounded to third for the final out.
Keeping the game close was essential with Georgia Tech ace Mark Pope on the mound. Pope (5-0) entered the game with a 0.29 ERA and dropped that to 0.23 by allowing just one unearned run on three hits in eight innings. The Wolfpack hit paydirt in the top of the sixth when Chris Diaz led off with a walk and went to second on a one-out grounder off the bat of John Gianis. Andrew Ciencin grounded to second for what should have been the final out of the inning, but Mott Hyde threw the ball over the head of first baseman Jake Davies, and Diaz scampered home with the tying run.
The game got away from the Wolfpack in the late innings. Hyde hit a two-run double in the sixth, and NC State relievers lost command of the strike zone in the seventh and the eighth. Georgia Tech scored two runs in the seventh, both on bases-loaded walks, then added four more in the eighth, two on bases-loaded walks and two more on RBI singles by Davies and Brandon Thomas.
Danny Canela drove in NC State's final run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly off reliever Luke Bard.
NC State and Georgia Tech will play the second game of this weekend's three-game series on Saturday at 4 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1) and will be available on-line on GoPack.com's All-Access package. Live stats will be available on Gametracker. Just click the Gametracker icon on the baseball schedule page on GoPack.com.
As always, please visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.