by Knox Bardeenknoxbardeen@css-sports.comATLANTA -- Austin Peay notched just four hits on Friday at the NCAA Atlanta Regional against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, but they were timely hits as the Governors dropped the No. 1 seed, 2-1, at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Catcher Matt Wollenzin opened the scoring in the fourth inning with a sacrifice fly to score John Hogan. But when Georgia Tech answered in its half of the fourth inning, the Governors waited until the seventh for Jordan Hankins to put the game out of reach with a solo home run.
Austin Peay head coach Gary McClure, after the game, said this win "had to be" the biggest win in Austin Peay baseball history. It started with Jack Snodgrass, who got ahead of hitters early and mixed in off-speed pitches that baffled Georgia Tech hitters for seven innings.
Snodgrass pitched seven strong innings, spreading out seven hits and giving up just one run. Mike Hebert and Zach Toney combined for two scoreless relief innings to keep Georgia Tech from a late rally.
"It was definitely a tough loss tonight," Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall said. "I can't say enough great things about Matthew (Grimes), to be pushed in, in the middle of the game, the first game of the NCAA Regional, I thought he pitched outstanding. It's a shame that he didn't come out of there with a win."
Grimes threw 6 23 innings of relief after Tech starter Mark Pope left the game because of an injury in the second inning. He gave up just three hits and two earned runs in the longest outing of his career.
Grimes' big mistake came in the seventh inning when he challenged Hankins with a fast ball.
"After I got that first ball I just felt like Grimes was going to come right back at me," said Hankins. "It was too much of a line drive, so I didn't know at first. But then it started carrying a little bit so I knew it was going to be a home run."
But that was one of very few mistakes by Grimes. Hall said the biggest frustration for Georgia Tech Friday was its inability to score runners who were on base.
The Yellow Jackets stranded 10 runners on base, three in scoring position, as Snodgrass ended three innings with a strikeout and two would double plays.
We had several opportunities," said Hall. "I dont know how many men we left on base, but Im sure its quite a lot. We had several opportunities to score and we could not get the hit. Thats pretty deflating.
With the win, the No. 4 seed Austin Peay moves ahead to face the No. 3 seed, Mississippi State, who beat Southern Mississippi Friday. The Governors will play at 7 p.m. Saturday.
Georgia Tech will face the No. 2 seed, Southern Mississippi at 3 p.m. in the loser's bracket Saturday.
Both games Saturday will be broadcast on CSS.