Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech faces slow start against Florida A&M but snags victory in NCAA Atlanta Regional

It took seven innings, but the relentless Georgia Tech attack finally broke down Florida A&M and rolled to a 13-2 first-round win at the NCAA Atlanta Regional.

The Yellow Jackets tallied 15 hits and batted around to score five times in the seventh inning to put the game away before a sold-out crowd at Georgia Tech’s Russ Chandler Stadium.

With the victory, Georgia Tech (42-17) advances to the winner’s bracket and will host Auburn (34-25) on Saturday at 7 p.m. Auburn defeated Coastal Carolina 16-7 in the early game. Coastal Carolina (35-25-1) will play Florida A&M (27-33) at 1 p.m. in the elimination game.

Georgia Tech jumped out to a 5-0 lead after three innings against Florida A&M starter Kyle Coleman (6-6). The right-hander battled through 5 2/3 innings, threw an astounding 129 pitches and allowed five runs on nine hits and seven walks.

Florida A&M got back in the game by scoring twice against Georgia Tech starter Amos Willingham (7-3). He hit two batters and allowed a well-placed bunt to go uncovered at first to help the Rattlers cut the margin to 5-2. Those were the only runs allowed by the right-hander in six innings of work.

After leaving the bases loaded in the sixth, the Yellow Jackets put it away with five runs in the seventh. The finishing blow was a two-RBI single by left fielder Colin Hall, who went 3-for-5.

Tech added three more runs in the eighth inning, when Tristin English delivered a bases-loaded double. English was 4-for-4 with five RBI.

Florida A&M helped Georgia Tech with some shoddy defense. The Rattlers committed four errors and fueled another rally when a Tech batter struck and reached on a wild pitch.

The Yellow Jackets may have lost starting shortstop Luke Waddell. He was removed from the game in the third inning after hurting his leg on a swing-and-miss. Waddell, the team’s leadoff hitter, has reached base safely in 37 consecutive games.