GT-Western Carolina Baseball 2014: Jackets and Catamounts Trade Quick Hits

Devin Stanton -- The Settler (Note: we are now taking applications for the nickname-writing division of the blog) - Danny Karnik/GT Athletics

After a tumultuous few innings, Devin "the Settler" Stanton came in to right the ship.

Both teams fired early salvos Tuesday night, but the Joltin' Jackets (9-7) came out on top after a first-inning 4-0 deficit. Freshman LHP Tanner Shelton made his first-ever college start tonight, giving up four runs before recording a second out (he's good for a 12.12 ERA...don't you just love absurd early-season stats?). From there, Tech used seven pitchers to right the ship, giving up one run in the final eight innings. Tech also immediately got back to tack offensively, putting up five runs in the second inning to take the lead for good.

The second inning was a lot of fun to watch/listen to. A.J. Murray hit things off with a solo shot and Thomas Smith extended his hitting streak to 12 (twelve!) games while driving in Arden Pabst to get the second tick on the board. There was also a double, and wild pitch, and a passed ball that helped the Jackets along to their five runs in the inning. Tech is slowly learning to take advantage of errors, which it will need to do if it's to win this season. The Jackets don't have the power at the plate they're used to, so they're going to have to stay alert on the basepaths.

Redshirt Jr. Devin Stanton had a particularly good day in middle relief putting up 4.1 scoreless frames. Stanton stands to play a key role this season after today's announcement that usual mid reliever Alex Cruz was released from the team for violating the AA's Student-Athlete Policy (if anyone knows what that means, please let me know in the comments). Sophomore Sam Clay also had a nice night, closing out the last 1.2 innings without allowing a run.  The most important thing to take away from tonight's pitching performance is certainly not individual, however. As I mentioned earlier, Tech used seven guys on the hill tonight, with four of those guys staying in for less than inning. Being able to cobble together near-shutout ball using almost a full rotation's worth of pitchers is a good sign against any team; especially when your team is young as Tech.

As Beesball heads into a weekend series with Miami at the Rusty C, what are your thoughts on the team?  You think these guys can pull off another miracle run at the ACC like the 2013 team after the encouraging signs we've been seeing?  Or are we just playing some bad teams?

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