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Jackets top Northwestern 12-1 in Friday opener

Tech started off the weekend with an important game one victory over the Wildcats.

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Playing the Wildcats for the first time since 1985, Tech put regular Friday starter Xzavion Curry on the mound vs junior RHP Hank Christie with his 1.50 ERA. The Wildcats came in at 3-4 and had taken the mid-week off since losing 2 out of 3 at Duke while Tech beat Georgia State twice. The Jackets continued their dominating baseball by scoring double digits for the second straight game and just missing a second shutout. Kyle McCann was the big offensive weapon, but plenty of others took a major role, with 16 hits and six players with multiple hits.

The 1st featured plenty of drama as NW loaded the bases in a walk, single, and another single that truly should have been an inning ending DP. Xzavion struck out number two and got number three on a liner to center. The Jackets then loaded the bases themselves with no outs on a walk, single, and HBP, but also failed to score as McCann, Serratos, and Hall failed.

The top of the 2nd saw the most absurd video review I’ve ever seen when the NW coach demanded a review of a ball that had landed in the right side bullpen, saying he thought it was fair. The ump was emphatic about the useless confirmation. Nick Wilhite and Luke Waddell both made run saving catches in the inning. Tech then got a run after two outs with a double by Nick Wilhite and RBI single by Chase Murray.

McCann blasted a solo homer to right center in the bottom of the 3rd to make it 2-0. Tech added a bunch more in the 4th when McCann came up with the bases loaded and two outs and hit his second consecutive homer to make it 6-0. After Serratos and Hall singled, NW brought in freshman lefty Parker Hanks. Wilhite singled off him to drive in Serratos and make it 7-0.

In the Jackets’ 5th, Guldberg drove in Nick Wilhite and McCann doubled in Guldberg and English, for his sixth and seventh RBI. NW brought in Tommy D’Alise, a freshman righty. He gave up an RBI triple to Serratos and an RBI double to Colin Hall before retiring the last two outs with Tech up 12-0.

Jake Brace made his first appearance of the season and pitched a scoreless sixth, aided by a 4-3 double play after a walk. After D’Alise put runners on the corners with McCann coming to bat, junior lefty Matt Gannon came in to pitch with two outs and retired him for no damage.

Freshman lefty Walker Barlow pitched for Tech in the 8th, also his first appearance. He gave up the first run to the Wildcats on a single, walk, fly ball, and groundout before a super play by Billy Zinnershine at SS ended the inning. After a scoreless eighth for the Jackets, Robert Winborne made his own first appearance of the season and closed out the 12-1 victory. Curry got the win, Christie the loss, and Tech improved to 6-3. The teams will play two Saturday due to the forecast for Sunday.