Jackets complete sweep winning 14-1.
Going for and finally getting the sweep in their fourth try, Tech replaced the injured Brant Hurter with Cort Roedig (1-1, 4.82). The Catamounts used junior LHP Ty McCullogh (1-2, 5.46). It was another near repeat – fairly tight early turning into a blowout with Tech winning 14-1.
It again didn’t take Tech long to jump out, when McCann homered for the 19th time with one on in the first. English and a Radcliff both sent outfielders to the wall, but they stayed in and the Jackets led 2-0.
WCU led off their 2nd with a single, but Roedig notched his 3rd, 4th, and 5th strikeouts to end the brief threat. The Wilhite Twins struck in Tech’s 2nd when Austin doubled and scored on Nick’s two out single.
Roedig ran into a glitch in the 3rd when his two strike pitch hit the batter in the helmet (no injury). He walked the next guy on four pitches, prompting a Coach Howell mound trip. The next batter hit a deep fly to left center that either Hall or Wilhite could have caught, but they worried each other and the ball dropped in for an error, scoring a run. Roedig didn’t panic, and coaxed a shallow fly ball for out one, the fielder a soft grounder for out two and coaxed a pop up to short for out three, Tech up 3-1. Cort continued to frustrate WCU by stranding a leadoff double in the top of the 4th, closing it out by snagging a hard comebacker.
The Wilhite’s repeated their double – RBI single trick in Tech’s 4th, and Guldberg later singled in Webb to make it 5-1. The Jackets weren’t nearly done, and English’s two RBI double and Radcliff’s three RBI homer off the right field foul poll made it 10-1. Joe Vranesic, a junior RHP, came to the mound and finished the inning. He also got through the Jackets in the 5th easily.
Jonathan Hughes came in to pitch the 6th for Tech. Coach Hall had mentioned in his Saturday interview that he wanted to get some of his bullpen stalwarts some live pitching today since there’s no mid-week game upcoming.
After Hughes’ 1-2-3 inning, the Jackets went long again in their 6th, with English and Colin Hall both hitting two run shots, to left and right respectively. Tech led 14-1 as Hughes came back for the 7th.
He got into a small jam with runners on the corners, but got out three on a ground ball out to keep it 14-1. Tech had shifted Waddell to the normal 2nd baseman’s spot and slugger Koehler hit right to him.
In the WCU 8th, Hugh Chapman came to the mound and numerous subs took the field, including Chase Murray, Charlie Benson and Cole Neuber. Hugh didn’t let a leadoff single concern him as he retired the next three Catamounts. Senior LHP Taylor Purus pitched to Tech in the 8th. He committed a pitcher’s faux pas by calling for – and dropping – a foul pop up, but otherwise retired the Jackets.
Hugh Chapman returned for the 9th and completed the big win, pitching past an error on Benson at 3rd on a tough play.
Roedig got the win, McCullogh the loss, with Tech improving to 33-14 and the week off before playing at Duke.
It was a total beatdown weekend, Tech outscoring WCU 55-8 in three games. The Jackets couldn’t have asked for a better break from ACC action, allowing everybody to play and several guys to get first hits or first RBI and some live play in the field or on the mound. The Jackets appear to have maintained their RPI at #8, avoiding a trap weekend.