Oxford Regional: Davis leads Huskies past Ga. Tech
A day of rain that postponed the start of the Oxford Regional at Oxford-University Stadium wasn’t obviously an issue for Washington hurler Tyler Davis, who helped lead the No. 2 seed Huskies to an 8-0 win over No. 3 seed Georgia Tech.
For the first time in the history of Washington’s baseball program, Davis garnered a complete game shutout in the postseason. Davis (11-2) said following the victory that his performance Saturday was “right up there” with his best outings of the season.
“It was definitely one of my most fun pitching performances. I loved pitching at Oregon State earlier this season. That was just a great game overall, but yes, this one is right up there,” said Davis, who only allowed Georgia Tech four hits while striking out eight against no walks allowed. “I felt pretty good warming up and then I trust our pitching coach and our catcher and the scouting report on the other team. As long as I execute my pitches, I know that our defense is going to have my back and my offense is going to get enough runs.”
Washington coach Lindsay Meggs said he couldn’t be prouder of the way Davis pitched, especially knowing that no other pitcher had to be used out of the bullpen, a big key in winning the regional on the road.
“That’s been his M.O. all year long, no fear, go after people, throw strikes and put the ball in play. We played defense behind him. While a nine-inning, complete-game shutout isn’t typical for him, the way he battled is what he does,” Meggs said. “We played well behind because of how we believe in him. I also think it took the edge off everybody when we got a run in the first. It set the tone for what we wanted to do.”
Georgia Tech, which came to Oxford having won the ACC Tournament title, are forced to advance by coming through the loser’s bracket. The first elimination game of the regional is Sunday at 11 a.m. The Jackets’ opponent will be decided after the Ole Miss-Jacksonville State contest.
Danny Hall, Georgia Tech’s head coach, felt like Davis was in command from the first pitch of the game.
“We didn’t get many opportunities to score off of him and then they got a run early, which I think is always big to get a run in the first inning. Then they got the big inning there where they capitalized with two outs,” Hall said. “I thought they executed well on offense and then their pitcher was pretty much un-hittable for us.”
Thomas Smith, Tech’s first baseman, said Davis was real aggressive pounding the strike zone.
“He was getting ahead and he put us in some tough counts to hit in. He just battled. I don’t think he did anything special, but he just comes right at you and he gives you everything he’s got. We saw that today,” Smith said, adding Davis was right at the top of the list of pitchers he has faced this year. “He is all the way up at the top, he goes out and competes.”
Washington (40-15-1 overall) scored a run in the bottom of the first and then used four hits to score four in the bottom of the fourth to really take command. Braden Bishop and Robert Pehl each drove in two runs for the Huskies, while Bishop finished with three hits. Pehl drove in both of his runs with a double in the fourth.