Weekend Baseball Preview: Yellow Jackets Host Rutgers

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Tech has won 8 of 9 games to start the 2013 season, and looks to continue improving that this weekend against a Scarlet Knights squad that has stumbled out of the gate.

The Opponent

Rutgers Scarlet Knights, Piscataway, NJ

Record: 2-4 (swept in 3 games at Miami, won 2 of 3 at Old Dominion)

Head Coach: Fred Hill (30th Season at Rutgers)

Starting Pitchers

Friday -- Rob Smorol (1-0, 1.93 ERA, 13 K, 2 BB)

Saturday -- Tyler Gebler (0-1, 4.91 ERA, 5 K, 2 BB)

Sunday -- Charlie Law (0-1, 9.00 ERA, 6 K, 3 BB)

Offensive Outlook

Not good. The Scarlet Knights have LF Vinny Zarrillo hitting .458, but after that only 3 players above .300 and are .264 as a team. They've only hit 2 Home Runs as a team, and are 3-7 on Stolen Base Attempts. Long story short, once you get past Zarrillo, there's not too much worth worrying about in this anemic offense.

Fun Fact

Rutgers' first 24 games this season are on the road. This sounds absurd, as if someone made a mistake even, but makes a lot more sense when you consider they're from New Jersey, where it's not true baseball weather until about June.

Outlook

The Jackets will throw Buck Farmer on Friday night to kick off the series, a good counter to Rutgers' clear ace in Smorol. Past that matchup, the Jackets' powerful offense shouldn't have much trouble against Gebler and Law, who have struggled to stay in the game (20 combined innings in 4 combined starts) and are allowing a lot of runs. Also, the Jackets' pitching should prove capable of handing a Rutgers offense that has only scored 5 runs once this season (in a 17-7 win over Old Dominion last weekend, interestingly enough). Overall it doesn't look like Rutgers is a very good team this year, and I won't be surprised if the Jackets sweep this series. It's fair to be disappointed if they don't win 2 of the games, at least, but then again this is baseball, where weird things happen.

Fair to expect no less than 2 wins this weekend? What are our chances of a sweep?

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