College Sports

Louisville drops first game to Georgia Tech

Jason Haniger and Charlie Blackmon each had three hits and two RBI, leading Georgia Tech past Louisville 8-5 Friday at the NCAA Athens regional.

The Big East champion Cardinals (41-20) came into the NCAAs on quite a roll, having won 25 of 31 games. But their season is one loss from being done despite Justin McClanahan's two homers.

Georgia Tech manufactured a run in the first. Blackmon led off with a walk, moved to second on a wild pitch, stole third and came home on Luke Murton's sacrifice fly.

Blackmon was in the middle of things again in the second as the Yellow Jackets pushed across another run after two outs. Haniger and Patrick Long hit back-to-back singles, and Chris House walked to load the bases. Blackmon singled sharply to right, driving in a run, but Stewart Ijames easily threw out Long at the plate to end the inning.

Blanked through the first five innings by David Duncan, the Cardinals struck suddenly in the sixth. With one on, McClanahan homered over the left-field wall on a 1-2 pitch to tie it up. Chris Dominguez went back-to-back for his 21st of the season, driving another 1-2 pitch for an even longer homer to give Louisville its first lead.

It would be short-lived. Georgia Tech reclaimed the lead in the bottom half with a pair of runs.

Tony Plagman was hit by a pitch, Haniger singled and Long walked to load the bases with one out. Thomas Royse came on to replace starter Justin Marks and nearly got out of the mess. Pinch hitter Thomas Nichols lined out to third, and Blackmon followed with a slow infield grounder toward second.

McClanahan bobbled the ball, then made a poor throw that skipped by first baseman Andrew Clark. The tying and go-ahead runs scored on the play, which was ruled a hit and an error.

The Yellow Jackets stretched their lead in the seventh against Royse. After Plagman's run-scoring single, Haniger hit a long two-run homer into the trees beyond the center-field wall to make it 7-3.

McClanahan led off the eighth with his 12th homer of the year, but Brad Rulon got the final two outs in the ninth for his sixth save.

Oklahoma State 5, Western Kentucky 3: Oklahoma State's Tyler Lyons pitched all but one out to help the host Cowboys defeat Western Kentucky in a first-round game in the NCAA regionals.

Lyons struck out 10 Hilltoppers and gave up 10 hits and three earned runs before Jordy Mercer came on to strike out the final batter and record his ninth save of the season.

Western Kentucky third baseman Wade Gaynor hit a solo home run and shortstop Terrence Dayleg and second baseman Matt Payton each had two-hit games, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State right fielder Matt Hague hit a solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the first inning and the Hilltoppers never got back within reach.

The Cowboys added a run in the fifth inning and another three runs in the sixth to make it 5-0 before Western Kentucky scored a run. Trailing 5-1, the Hilltoppers scored two in the ninth but center fielder Scott Kaskie struck out with two runners on base to end the game.

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