May 25, 2003


CBI Live
Boggs, Goodman help Tech tame UNC
Yellow Jackets still two wins from title

By Sean Ryan Co-Founder

SALEM, Va. – Brandon Boggs began the season as Georgia Tech’s starting center fielder.


Boggs, a switch-hitting speedster from Atlanta suburb Marietta, batted .305 last year as a freshman, but has struggled to the point of losing his starting job to Steven Blackwood.


Sunday, Boggs got a little bit of redemption, lacing a key two-run triple in a six-run sixth inning to help the Yellow Jackets to a 10-6 win over North Carolina in an elimination game of the ACC Tournament at Memorial Stadium. Georgia Tech (42-16) advanced to face Florida State, with the winner of that game moving on to meet North Carolina State in the tournament final. The Tar Heels (39-21) await their destination for the NCAA Tournament.


“I’m just in a little slump, so I haven’t been in the games as much,” said Boggs, who’s hitting .255. “But I got in there today, and I did as hard as I could. And I got a pretty big hit in a big situation.”


Tech found itself in a 5-0 hole after UNC scored four times off Chris Goodman (9-3) in the third inning. Greg Mangum (2 for 4, two runs) started the inning with a single, and Chad Prosser (2 for 4) reached when his sacrifice bunt was booted by Micah Owings at third. Jeremy Cleveland then ripped a two-run double, and Sean Farrell (2 for 4, two RBI) had an RBI single to highlight the inning.


“That inning, they just hit the ball well,” said Goodman, a shortstop who converted to a pitcher last year. “I was hitting spots, they were just getting swings on them.”


But the second time through the Yellow Jackets’ lineup was not easy for Scott Manshack. Trailing 5-1, Matt Murton, Clifton Remole and Mike Nickeas started the inning with singles for one run, and Jeremy Slayden ripped an RBI double to make 5-3. Bo Dickerson (0-1) relieved with the bases still loaded, and got Tyler Greene to bounce into a run-scoring double play and struck out Boggs to keep UNC in the lead.


Boggs wouldn’t miss his next opportunity.


After Greene made it 5-all on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, Boggs ripped reliever Jonathan Hovis’ offering down the right-field line for a two-run triple. Blackwood (2 for 3) later doubled in two more runs as Tech took over.


Meanwhile, Goodman settled down nicely.


After the four-run third, he silenced the Tar Heels until he left after the eighth, allowing seven hits and three earned runs and striking out five.


“That’s to his credit,” Jackets coach Danny Hall said. “He had that tough inning when he gave up four runs. After that, it was all zeroes. And we were trying to get as many innings as possible. He really settled in and did a great job.”


That was quite important, as the Yellow Jackets still need two wins on Sunday to capture the ACC tournament title.


“I felt like last night, even though I knew we had the prospect of playing three games that we still had enough pitching to win the tournament,” Hall said. “I still feel that way.”