The day after announcing a new weekend format for this rivalry series starting next year, Tech and the dwags faced off midweek after both teams had won big conference weekends. Amos Willingham (3-0, 3.38 ERA) took the mound for the Jackets as they faced the opponents, who came in at 21-3 and ranked as high as #4. Right handed junior Tim Elliott (3-1, 0.39 ERA) pitched for the visitors. Tech was trying to break out of a 1-9 record versus uga over the last ten games and did so in a big way.
It didn’t take the visitors long to get on the board, as the first, third, and fifth batters hit doubles while the second, fourth, and sixth batters struck out. Colin Hall nearly caught the third double to left, but the visitors led 2-0 early. Tech got one back after putting runners at second and third with no outs, but could only score on English’s sac fly to left, making it 2-1.
It was a real pitcher’s duel after the first until the Tech fifth. After Austin Wilhite got Tech’s second hit and moved to second with one out, the visitors brought in senior lefty Adam Goodman. Elliott had thrown hard and well with seven K’s, but all credit to the Tech batters who drove his pitch count up to 94, ushering in the uga bullpen. Goodman didn’t have any success, wild pitching Wilhite to third before giving up a massive homer to right by Waddell and then walking Guldberg on four pitches. Tech led 3-2 as freshman righty Jack Gowan came in to face McCann.
Gowan put Guldberg to second with a wild pitch and then intentionally walked McCann before another wild pitch moved them each up a base. English drive in Guldberg with a sac fly before Baron Radcliff blasted a shot to deepest center field, making it 6-2. Hall then singled, and moved to second on yet another wild pitch. Serratos took advantage, singling in Hall. Austin Wilhite lined out to third, ending the very productive inning with the Jackets leading 7-2.
Junior righty Logan Moody came into pitch to Tech in the bottom of the sixth. He loaded the bases on a single and two walks. After McCann struck out, a really bizarre play picked up two more Tech runs. A pitch bounced up into English’s bat and dribbled down the third base line fair. The catcher picked it up, but for some inexplicable reason didn’t tag Wilhite coming home and threw to first. The first baseman dropped the ball, and Waddell scored from second in the confusion. A video review confirmed the error at first, so English was safe and Tech led 9-2. They weren’t done yet, and Hall doubled down the right field line with two outs to make it 11-2. Hall was then out at home after the shortstop bobbled a Serratos grounder, saving another run.
After Willingham gave up a couple of singles after one out in the top of the 7th, Jake Lee relieved him. Amos had eight K’s and six hits through 6.1 innings and got a standing ovation from the Jacket faithful. Jake quickly ended the minor threat with two fly ball outs.
Freshman RHP Darryn Pasqua pitched to Tech in the bottom of the 7th and gave up a one out single to Nick Wilhite before the rain started falling too hard to continue. No one complained too much when the game was officially called after a mandatory 30 minute wait. Tech improved to 17-8 and the visitors fell for only the 4th time. Willingham got the win, Goodman the loss.
A factor to consider is that the dwags must travel to Kentucky for a Thursday – Saturday series, so couldn’t afford to stress their bullpen. It really showed to Tech’s advantage after they were able to outlast Elliott by running up his pitch count.