If you’re a Jackets baseball fan living in Atlanta, life has been pretty good for you lately - the weather’s been hot, and your youth-laden team has been hotter. With three or four true freshmen starting each game, the Jackets are 8-1 in their past nine games and fresh off of a series win over the #1 Florida State Seminoles and their Heisman-winning, autograph-signing, multiple-sports-playing superstar.
But while the Florida State fans travelling to Atlanta in droves this weekend expected to see Jameis Winston steal the show, Tech’s freshman shortstop Connor Justus had other plans.
Justus was named ACC Player of the Week earlier today, a well-deserved honor for the freshman after capping off an impressive five game streak. Justus played with a senior-like maturity against the nation’s top-ranked team, providing consistently solid play on both sides of the ball by going 4-9 at the plate with 3 RBIs and playing flawless defense. Add in his other four hits, two homeruns, and five RBIs from the week’s earlier two games, and you can see why the ACC is high on Justus. Did we mention he hasn’t committed an error in 20 games?
Break Out the Earplugs
…You’re going to need them. The Georgia Bulldogs and their hordes of barking fans come to town Tuesday night for another rendition of Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate on the baseball diamond. While this game doesn’t affect the Jackets’ bid for a first-round bye in the ACC tournament, it is without a question one of the most important games of the season for both players and fans. Tech lost to Georgia earlier this season by a score of 1-0, a game the Bulldogs won on a controversial no-call in the bottom of the ninth in Athens.
Georgia’s defense has been stout lately, but they’ve struggled on the road, winning only three of 9 total road games this season. Their notable losses include an 18-4 drubbing at the hands of Georgia Southern, a home loss to Georgia State, and back-to-back losses at Florida State (the third game of that series was cancelled).
Based on Tech’s typical midweek lineup, we can assume either Ben Parr or Tanner Shelton will start, both freshman lefties who have proven themselves on the mound in their first season in Atlanta. If the Jackets can maintain their high-level of play we’ve seen in the past nine games, they should have a good shot at avenging their early-season loss.