Georgia Tech's pitching finally came through on Friday when the Jackets were able to hold off Indiana State at Russ Chandler Stadium by a final score of 1-0. The Jackets improved to 6-3 on the season (including 3-1 at The Rusty C) while the Sycamores, a member school of the Missouri Valley Conference, fell to 3-4 on the season. It is worth noting that while Indiana State does have a losing record, one of their wins came against No. 5 Vanderbilt, a team overflowing with MLB-caliber talent. This Sycamore team is no walk in the park to beat.
Starter Jonathan King was nothing short of dominant for the Jackets as he made his third start of the season following his return from Tommy John surgery just about a year ago. King hung a one-hitter on Indiana State through 6.0 scorless innings, including 4 strikeouts and just 1 walk. Relievers Matthew Gorst (2.2 IP, 1H, 2BB, 3SO) and Zac Ryan (0.1 IP, SV) proved once again why they are Danny Hall's go-to men out of the bullpen, locking down the Sycamores for three straight innings to end the game and preserve the win for King. It was a much needed boost from the pitching staff and one which will hopefully carry over into the rest of the three-game series with ISU and beyond.
Sophomore catcher Arden Pabst, who threw out his eighth baserunner of the season in just nine games, is leading the ACC in caught-stealing rate at 80%. If he can learn to handle the staff just a little bit better, we could be looking at one of the premier catchers in the ACC if not the nation.
While the pitching performance for Tech was nothing short of spectacular, the offensive production dropped off sharply for the second game in a row -- the Jackets have mustered just two total runs against Auburn and Indiana State over their last two games. Tech could only put up three hits against ISU starter Jeff Degano, their sole run coming off of an A.J. Murray homerun in the bottom of the fifth inning. Murray would account for two of Tech's three hits with Matt Gonzalez also picking up a quick single but being erased on a double play later that inning.
The Jackets will play two more games against Larry Bird's Alma mater here in Atlanta (tomorrow at 2:00 and on Sunday at 1:00) before preparing to face off with Ohio on Tuesday night. Tech will open up the ACC slate against Notre Dame next weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium.