The Jackets headed on their first road trip – a long bus ride – to face the Eagles of GSU in Statesboro. The Jackets walked away from the game with a 7-1 victory.
Both teams were 1-2, the Eagles having lost to the uga dwags in Athens. We know Tech’s sorry Weekend story already.
Tech sent sophomore Connor Thomas to the mound, hoping he would continue his strong performance of Friday when he relieved Xzavion Curry and got a four scoreless inning save. The Eagles countered with right handed redshirt-freshman Jacob Parker.
GSU has adopted the clear bag policy, requiring many to return to their cars, including us, but does serve beer and free parking. Anyway, it’s a great crowd and atmosphere.
The Jackets got ahead early when Austin Wilhite doubled and Colin Hall tripled off the left fielder’s glove in the second. It was Colin’s first collegiate hit and RBI.
Facing Nick Wilhite, Eagles pitcher Parker hurt his arm and had to come out. His immediate reaction grabbing his right arm was sad to see; I hope it turns out to be minor. Junior righty Lawson Humphries came in for early relief with Hall on third and one out. He completed the walk to Wilhite, throwing ball four away in the dirt and allowing Hall to score.
Thomas breezed through three innings with his only blemishes a first inning walk and blooper single in the third inning. Humphries was his own worst enemy in the fourth, loading the basis on walks and balking in the third run. He then loaded them again with a fourth walk, bringing up Joey Bart, who got greedy and struck out. English grounded into out three, letting the Eagles off a very big hook.
Thomas worked around a one-out double in the Eagles fourth, aided by solid defense by Luke Waddell and himself on two tough infield grounders.
The Eagles brought in righty Griffin Davis to pitch the fifth. He didn’t stay long, yielding to another righty, Cole Whitney after walking the first two batters on nine pitches. After Colin Hall moved Johnson and Wilhite over, Luke Waddell singled them in to make it 5-0. For critics of the bunt, I don’t know if Kel could have scored from second on the hit.
The second batter in the Eagle fifth hit a blast to deep right center that Nick Wilhite slammed into the wall catching. He went down, but was OK thankfully.
In the Eagle sixth, trouble was brewing with a leadoff single and double, only the third and fourth hits. A one-out groundout scored the first Southern run, Thomas’ first ER of the season.
Another right hander, Braxton Johns, pitched to start the seventh for GSU. Thomas meanwhile got through the seventh on 92 total pitches, despite having to pitch around an error on Austin Wilhite. In a weird confrontation, base unner Austin Thompson ran into Tristen English at first, nearly sparking a fight.
In Tech’s eighth, Nick Wilhite got his first hit of the season and moved to 3rd on two wild pitches before Chase Cohen came in to pitch, yet another right hander. He got Murray on a comebacker, but Joey Bart ended a night of 0-for-4 futility by putting one over the left center wall to make it 7-1.
Keyton Gibson came into pitch for Tech in the bottom of the eighth, Thomas having pitched superbly twice now this season.
For the Tech ninth, Eric Goldstein, a right handed sidewinder, pitched for the Eagles and worked around a double by Austin Wilhite. Gibson closed it out to preserve the 7-1 victory, with Thomas getting the win and the hurt Parker getting the loss.
Tech moves to 2-2 and the Eagles 1-3 as the Tech seniors perfected their four-year record at Clements Stadium.