What a week for Georgia Tech baseball. In preparation for a tough series against one of the best teams in the nation (FSU) coming up this weekend, the Yellow Jackets decided to get some batting practice in during the midweek games. Connor Justus, especially, had an excellent week, getting four hits and five RBI, including two home runs (one in each game).
Tuesday night's win against the Eagles came from the help of two huge innings: the second and the fifth. In the bottom of the second inning, the first two batters of the inning were both hit by the opposing pitcher. Two batters later, junior CF Daniel Spingola would drive in the lead runner, singling into center field, and then sophomore LF Matt Gonzalez would drive in the other runner and Spingola with a triple. Gonzalez would come around to score after junior 1B Thomas Smith grounded out to first.
The Yellow Jackets' big inning came in the fifth, where as a team, they scored a total of seven runs. SEVEN RUNS. Freshman SS Connor Justus got the inning started with a lead off home run. With two on and two out later in the inning, Daniel Spingola would single through the right side to bring home freshman 3B Brandon Gold. Senior C Mitch Earnest (the other runner that was on base) scored on the next play, which was a first-pitch single from Matt Gonzalez. A throwing error by the SS allowed Spingola to move to third. Thomas Smith was the next batter, and he doubled down the left field line, scoring both Spingola and Gonzalez. The next batter was junior DH AJ Murray. On the first pitch he saw, Murray hit a two-run home run to left-center.
Wednesday night would see another amazing offensive display from the Yellow Jackets. This time, however, offensive outbursts came in three different innings instead of two. At the rate this is going, the Yellow Jackets will be unstoppable in the matter of a couple more games.
Starting in the bottom of the second inning, the Yellow Jackets could have stopped scoring after that inning and still won the game. Not only is that a testament to the offense, but also the pitching. Junior DH AJ Murray started off the bottom of the second inning with a double into right field. After advancing to third on a sac fly, Murray would score off of a single by freshman RF Ryan Peurifoy. A few batters late, Peurifoy stood at third with freshman C Arden Pabst at first and junior CF Daniel Spingola at the plate. After working a 2-1 count, Spingola tripled down the right field line, scoring Peurifoy and Pabst.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, freshman SS Connor Justus led the inning off with a home run. Later in the inning, freshman 2B Elliott Barzilli scored off of a balk by the Savannah State pitcher. The final run of the inning would come on a bases-loaded walk from sophomore LF Matt Gonzalez to score Arden Pabst.
The Yellow Jackets' biggest inning of the game came in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two on and one out, junior 1B Thomas Smith hit a single through the left side to score senior captain Mott Hyde. Later in the inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Connor Justus hit a bases-clearing double down the left field line.
As amazing as the offensive display was for the Yellow Jackets, the pitching display was equally amazing. Starting the Tuesday night game for the Yellow Jackets was freshman LHP Ben Parr. In his 6.0 innings of work, Parr allowed one run on seven hits, but struck out nine batters and walked one. The nine batters struck out by Parr is the most any pitcher for the Yellow Jackets has earned this year.
Wednesday night would showcase excellent pitching performances from freshman RHP Zac Ryan and freshman RHP Matt Phillips. In Ryan's 5.0 innings of work, he allowed a run on four hits with seven strikeouts. In the seventh inning, Phillips struck out the side on 18 pitches (10 strikes).
All in all, it was a great week for Georgia Tech baseball. Hopefully the performance of these Jackets will continue into the weekend against the powerhouse Florida State Seminoles. All three games of the series will be available on 91.1 FM WREK, and the games on Friday and Sunday, will be available on both CSS for you people that have cable and ESPN3.