ATLANTA, Ga. — Thanks to seven shutout innings by Xzavion Curry, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets put a damper on the season opener for the Dartmouth Big Green on Friday afternoon, handing the visitors a 10-0 defeat at Russ Chandler Stadium. Chase Murray and Michael Guldberg each drove in three runs for Georgia Tech (3-2), while Tristin English banged out three of its 13 hits to lead the offense.
Dartmouth (0-1) was held to four singles as Curry attacked the strike zone relentlessly, throwing 72 of his 91 pitches for strikes. Curry (2-0) surrendered all four hits without a walk, striking out six to lower his ERA in this two starts this season to 1.50. Andy Archer and Joseph Mannelly each tossed a perfect inning to finish off the shutout, the first for the Yellow Jackets since a 3-0 blanking of Illinois Chicago last April 28.
Junior Sean Sullivan rapped out the first hit of the season for the Big Green in the top of the first, with the other singles provided by senior Justin Fowler, junior Nate Ostmo and sophomore Michael Calamari. Dartmouth’s best chance to score came in the fifth when Fowler stroked a two-out single to send Calamari scampering from first to third, but Curry shut the door with a strikeout on three pitches.
The closest the Big Green got to denting the scoreboard actually came in the sixth when senior Dustin Shirley drove a 1-2 pitch deep to right. The shot had enough to clear the fence, but six-foot-four Baron Radcliff rose up and robbed Shirley of his second career home run.
After retiring the side in order on six pitches in the first, junior right hander Cole O’Connor (0-1) ran into trouble in the second. With a man on first and one out, Luke Waddell hit a seeing-eye single between first and second to put runners on the corners. The next batter was retired on a shallow fly to right for the second out, but a two-hopper to short could not be handled for an error, extending the inning and allowing the first run to cross the plate. O’Connor then uncharacteristically issued back-to-back walks, forcing in a run, before Murray hit a chopper down the first-base line that snuck through for a three-run double and a 5-0 Yellow Jacket lead.
Georgia Tech tacked on a run in the third when O’Connor induced a double-play grounder, which allowed English to score from third after leading off the inning with a double. In the fifth, Kel Johnson poked a two-out RBI single to plate Murray, who began the frame with his second two-bagger.
Senior Mike Concato relieved O’Connor to start the sixth, making his first appearance since May 9, 2015 (1,021 days), and provided a pair of scoreless innings with two strikeouts before exiting with two men on and one down in the eighth. Guldberg, pinch hitting for Murray, then greeted freshman reliever Sai Davuluri by depositing a pitch over the fence down the left-field line for a three-run homer to finish the scoring.
Dartmouth and Georgia Tech, originally scheduled to play single games on Saturday and Sunday, will complete their three-game series on Saturday instead with a doubleheader that begins at 1 p.m. Sophomore Michael Parsons and senior Clay Chatham are scheduled to start the games that will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.
Notes: The Big Green are 13-16 all-time on opening day under head coach Bob Whalen … this was Dartmouth’s first game against Georgia Tech since 1925, and the Yellow Jackets now lead the all-time series, 4-3 … this was not the last time the Big Green played at Georgia Tech’s home field, however, having played in the 1987 NCAA Northeast Regional at Russ Chandler Stadium, beating Michigan before falling to Fordham and Rider … Dartmouth was shut out three times last year, the last coming against Yale on April 23 … freshman Casey Seymour made his collegiate debut on the mound in the eighth, surrendering a single before retiring the next two batters, the last on strikes.