Georgia Tech Baseball was cut a break in the second week of ACC play. They had no midweek games and had a weekend series against a Boston College team that was 3-12 coming in to the weekend. Tech took full advantage of the opportunity and put up a dominating performance over the weekend, outscoring BC 32-9 and batting .407 over the course of the weekend. There were a few hiccups here and there but nothing to be actually worried about, for the most part this was a number 14-ranked team taking down a much less talented opponent.
Since the offensive stats were so egregious across the board, I'm going to start by highlighting individual player performances. Zane Evans wowed Tech fans over the course of the weekend as he drove in as many runs as BC scored (nine) and slugged 1.133. Put another way: five of his seven hits went for extra bases. And they say they want the old bats back! Brandon Thomas hit over .500 on the weekend going 8-14 (.571). Matt Gonzalez is also spitting fire with a 14-game hitting streak and a .390 average, good for seventh in the ACC. Speaking of GT's standing in the ACC, there are some things you might want to know: Tech leads the ACC in OBP, BA, SLG, R, H, and HR. Not only are the Jackets tops on offense, but their .978 Fielding percentage is the best on the atlantic coast as well. Basically GT leads the conference in "playing baseball" statistically speaking. To top it all off, Tech is four runs away from leading the nation in runs scored through one less game than the first place team, Georgia State.
What Needs Improvement
To match up against the champions, the team's ERA could use a little work. Tech is currently throwing 3.34. The best teams in the country are keeping their ERAs in the 1.2-1.8 range. We have yet to enter the meat of conference play so those numbers will certainly go up as the season progresses, but it's a little worrisome that Tech has given up 72 runs already this year. Number 3 Oregon State has given up 47 runs against a similar schedule so you can see what has me worried. The Jackets don't need to be pitching one-hit ballgames every time out with the offensive production they've got, I'm just saying that Tech isn't going to score 10 runs/game in post-season play and one run could be the difference so they need to keep a few more guys off home. Tech could offset this ERA issue with their top-40 base running (caught stealing 16% of the time with 37 stolen bases), however, by taking advantage of the men they do get on against better pitching staffs. The current team ERA is also top-heavy due to a rare 3-ER performance by Buck Commander this weekend, if he goes back to throwing his one- or two-run games this will smooth the ER curve over time back to its original low-energy state.
ACC Standings Courtesy D1Baseball.com
|STANDINGS||ACC Win||ACC Loss||ACC %||Games Back||Overall Win||Overall Loss||Overall %||Last 10||Streak||Next Game|
|Florida State||5||1||0.833||--||18||1||0.947||9-1||W-2||Stetson (3/19)|
|NC State||3||3||0.500||2||16||5||0.762||6-4||W-1||UNC Greensboro (3/19)|
|Clemson||3||3||0.500||2||11||7||0.611||6-4||L-1||Morehead State (3/19)|
|Maryland||2||4||0.333||3||12||7||0.632||6-4||L-2||James Madison (3/19)|
|Wake Forest||1||5||0.167||4||12||10||0.545||3-7||L-1||Coastal Carolina (3/19)|
|Boston College||0||6||0.000||5||3||15||0.167||1-9||L-8||at Holy Cross (3/19)|
|North Carolina||5||1||0.833||--||18||1||0.947||9-1||W-2||Princeton (3/19)|
|Georgia Tech||5||1||0.833||--||17||2||0.895||9-1||W-3||Georgia Southern (3/19)|
|Virginia Tech||4||2||0.667||1||16||5||0.762||6-4||W-3||Liberty (3/19)|
|Miami, Florida||2||4||0.333||3||15||7||0.682||5-5||L-2||Columbia (3/19)|
Click on "Game N" to get the game summary.
Tech takes on Georgia Southern at home tomorrow at 6 P.M., followed by a series in Tallahassee to battle for first place in the ACC with the Seminoles starting Friday at 6 P.M. All four games can be heard on 91.1FM, but also seen on ESPN3! None of the games should be subject to blackout, so you can watch from anywhere.
What do you think of the Hardball Jackets, Tech fans? Am I missing something? Are you excited to watch Tech play this way? Tell us what you think in the comments below!