Panthers Down No. 23 Georgia Tech, 6-3
ATLANTA-Mark Micowski homered and drove in two runs to back strong pitching by Aidan Francis and Jake Dyer as Georgia State (8-1) defeated No. 23 Georgia Tech, 6-3, Wednesday at Tech's Russ Chandler Stadium. The Panthers won at Georgia Tech (5-4) for the third time in the last five years.
Francis (1-0), the senior left-hander from Australia, went seven innings for the Panthers, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks to earn the victory. Junior Jake Dyer pitched the final two innings for his first save.
"These kind of wins are always great for your team," said GSU head coach Greg Frady. "When you are playing a team that is ranked in the Top 25, you want to show what you can do, and our team did a great job. We had outstanding performances by a lot of individuals, led by Aidan Francis and Mark Micowski."
"Aidan really wanted this start, and then Jake showed a lot of composure at the end," continued Frady. "I thought we supported them with some really good defense. It was just a great team win."
With the game tied at 2-2, Georgia State took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth. With runners at first and second and one out, Joey Wood singled in Micowski, who led off the inning with an infield single. Brandon Williams followed with a single to center, scoring Rob Lind and putting the Panthers ahead, 4-2.
Tech managed one run in the eighth off Dyer before the junior righty worked out of the jam. The Jackets put runners at second and third with one out, and pinch hitter Jake Davies hit a fly ball to shallow center that dropped just in front of centerfielder Brett Maxwell, scoring Brandon Thomas from third. But Dyer struck out the next two batters to end the threat and preserve GSU's 5-3 lead.
The Panthers got the run back in the top of the ninth when Williams scored on a wild pitch. Georgia Tech threatened again in the bottom of the ninth, putting runners at first and second with two outs, but Daniel Palka lined out to left to end the game. Dyer came up with a key strikeout of Tech's top hitter, Matt Skole, for the second out of the inning.
Micowski put the Panthers on the scoreboard first when he led off the game with his second homer of the season, a shot to right center.
"I challenged Mark in practice yesterday to get a better start and give us more energy," said Frady. "When Mark starts with energy, we really feed off him."
Micowski added, "I fouled off some tough pitches and then finally on 3-2, I got a good pitch to hit and I was able to take advantage."
The Panthers increased their lead to 2-0 in the third inning when Shane Hammond led off the inning with a walk, moved to second on Bryan Condotta's sacrifice bunt and then scored on Micowski's single to left.
Georgia Tech got on the board in the bottom of the inning on an RBI-single by Brandon Thomas, scoring Kyle Wren, who was hit by a pitch. The Jackets tied the game an inning later when DeAndre Smelter doubled home Zane Evans.
Georgia Tech starter Matt Grimes (1-1), a freshman righty, struck out eight in five innings but allowed four runs on eight hits to take the loss.
The Panthers now travel to Starkville, Miss., to participate in the Mississippi State Tournament this weekend, with two games each against the host Bulldogs and Iowa.