Georgia Tech Baseball had their fall games this week, and FTRS was there to learn some interesting things about this fairly young crop of players.
First, I want to make it abundantly clear that this game was not the end all-be all of beesball this season. Like any preseason contest, it tells us virtually nothing about the state of the team, or their readiness for next season. But, this being a sports website on the internet, we're going to beat whatever salient details we can out of it anyways! First, let's take a look at the pitching staff's performance in these games. The Friday starters, as usual, are lockdown. What would you expect, with Buck Farmer at the mound. Neither Farmer nor Dusty Issacs (who got the start for the white team on Friday) gave up a home run. Between them (in five innings each), there were seven hits and one ER given up. The hit count seems a little high, but remember, these guys are rusty, and Farmer fanned 8 through 64 pitches in 5IP. The starters overall looked good (especially junior Jonathan Roberts, who gave up no runs through 5 in Tuesday's rubber match) but the bullpen looked...interesting. I think it will be the exact same as last season, when it comes to pitching really.
Next, we move on to the offense. The power hitting game that was so prevalent in 2011 seems to be back in 2013, as the guys hit 6 HRs in 2 games. There's more seems to be more power on the swings, as a good portion of the its went for extra bases. However, we're still hanging in there and working counts occasionally, and it sees like we've got the swing aggression turned up to 70% (that is, we go for the hit rather than work the count 70% of the time). This kind of concerns me. Great teams are ones that know how to operate against all types of pitchers, and against groundout or flyout guys we may be seeing a lot of outs with this offensive strategy. Then again, it could be another 2010, where we hit seemingly 14 HRs a game.
Finally, the defense. Whatever the football team has seems to be contagious, as both teams put up 9 errors through the two games I attended. I'm hoping this is just rust, and its worth noting that the second string was responsible for 6 of those errors, but it still never comforting to see a baseball team drop that many balls. Its like we gave Stephen Hill a mitt and said "play ball, champ." Still, we also made as many great plays, including a diving stop by sophomore 2nd baseman Thomas Smith and about 6 backhanded grabs on burners by the guys playing second base (Alex Cruz, who can do literally anything, and senior Sam Dove in particular). The defense looked by all accounts inconsistent, and will have to improve if we hope to be champions of anything.