I find myself finally back into the world of college baseball this week. I and my fellow FTRS team members realize that, due to some real world issues, we haven’t had the time to give Georgia Tech baseball the attention it deserves. I’m beginning this article to give a weekly recap of all the Georgia Tech baseball. This week I am covering Clean Old Fashioned Hate (baseball edition) and the week of March 6th Through March 13th. Be on the lookout for these articles every Tuesday during the baseball season in the future, with that lets talk some baseball.
Baseball is off to a hot start this season. Our current 13-3 record is indicative of most Coach Hall seasons, with the early out of conference games not providing much resistance. This past week was actually one of the most difficult with the majority of our losses on the season coming over the duration of March 6th through March 13th (granted, that only means 2 losses). It’s bittersweet knowing that we took the Clean Old Fashioned hate series against a higher ranked team from Athens and started ACC play with a sweep of the Hokies, but the losses do indicate some of the problems the team may face down the stretch. Hopefully the team can look back on some of the games below as a opportunity to learn and improve.
March 4th: #10 Jackets take the win at home over #5 uga, 11-7
Starting pitcher Chance Huff showed his dominance, giving up only 1 run over the course of 7 innings and accumulating 6 strikeouts in the effort. Timely hitting from Tim Borden II and Drew Compton provided a combined total of 5 RBIs which helped contribute to a 8-1 lead going into the top of the 8th. Obviously the score did not remain so far apart, as Georgia Tech went through 3 pitchers trying to find an answer to the rallying dwags. Thankfully Tech limited the damage and Andrew Jenkins was able to get the lead back to a comfortable range with a 3 run single in the bottom of the 8th. Additional highlights go to John Medich who worked a clean ninth inning to close the game, and to Colin Hall and Kevin Parada who both knocked 2 hits on the day.
March 5th: #10 Jackets shut out #5 uga in Athens, 7-0
Georgia Tech pitching often gets shade thrown at it. We do it on this site plenty, and I am not completely innocent of the sin that is doubting our pitching staff. Well, the pitchers who went to Athens on March 5th must’ve have heard we were badmouthing them because they had something to prove. Zach Maxwell got the start and threw 83 pitches over 3 innings, despite walking 6 Zach avoiding giving up a run (the 7 strikeouts he threw probably helped) over his pitching period. After Zach was done freshman Cody Carwile took the helm and sailed the proverbial ship to 3 innings of no hit baseball. Finally Adam Finateri earned the longest (and first) save of his career by pitching the remaining 3 innings, giving up no runs, and striking out 5. Yes, there was also some great hitting but today belongs to the pitchers who provided the dwags their first shutout at home against the Jackets since 1997. Good times.
March 6th: #5 uga stirkes back, beating #10 GT at Coolray Field 12-3
Unfortunately not everything could go our way in the series. Despite getting 7 hits in the game, Georgia Tech could not successfully string the hits together for more scoring opportunities. The game was a platoon pitching effort for both teams. Georgia Tech burned through 7 pitchers and uga went through 6. Georgia Tech’s pitching struggled with Camron Hill being the only Jacket pitcher to escape the game without giving up an earned run. The news wasn’t all bad, with Kevin Parada continuing his hot start to the season with 3 hits in the game. It may be disappointing to miss out on sweeping your biggest rival, but this was a fantastic effort to win the series.
March 8th: #7 GT falls to Mercer on the road 5-4
Following the loss to uga, the Jackets continued their road trip with a game at OrthoGeorgia Park against Mercer. The game was a close one with small scoring spurts scattered throughout the innings which led to a back and forth battle between the two teams. 6 pitchers were used against Mercer in this matchup. Two of the six pitchers were used in the matchup against uga 2 days previous. Despite Colin Hall tying things up in the top of the 9th with a late Homerun, David Burke was able to end the game with a walkoff RBI in the bottom of the 9th which got Mercer the win. A tough loss to end the road trip for the Jackets.
March 11th: VPISU and #7 Georgia Tech can’t decide who wants to win. Eventually GT takes it 9-8 (AKA, I want off Coach Hall’s Wild Ride)
Now this is the type of game I expect as a long time fan of Georgia Tech. Initially both teams had strong pitching as the game was tied 1-1 through the first 5 innings of play. Then the 6th inning came along and chaos became the rule of the day. both teams scored 4 runs in the 6th inning leading to a 5-5 tie. Both pitching staffs struggled to hold onto the close game until the bottom of the 8th where VPISU ran through 4 pitchers trying to escape the inning. A timely bunt by Colin Hall got Andrew Jenkins into scoring position, Jenkins would score on the next play as the Hokie defense turned a double play. This should have ended the inning but VPISU proceeded to load the bases and walk in an extra run, leading to a 7-5 lead for the jackets.
Clearly VPISU wanted to make things more dramatic. Not to be outdone on the drama, Georgia Tech gave up 3 runs in the top of the 9th with a combination of walks, hit by pitches, and singles. Despite struggling Dawson Brown got us out of the inning down only one run with a 7-8 deficit for the jackets. The bottom of the ninth was either miraculous or catastrophic depending on who you were cheering for. The Hokie pitching loaded the bases and walked in the tying run. Andrew Jenkins didn’t miss his chance and took the opportunity to change a tie game into a walk off win by hitting a single to deep right.
Man, I got exhausted just typing all that up. Tech managed to pull the win, but if you’re a Georgia Tech fan you may have needed to check if you heart was still working properly after that game. Meanwhile if you’re a Hokies fan you’re probably questioning where the strike zone actually is... Dude, I watch baseball so I won’t get stressed out.
Special Shoutout to Stephen Reid who finished the game with 3 hits and 3 RBIs.
March 13th: 1st game of Double Header; # 7 GT’s bats light up Hokies. Jackets win 12-6
After a 6 run second inning the Hokies tried to keep this game close. There was a bit of drama as VPISU managed to spread some runs throughout the game but they were never able to catch-up in this contest.
Kevin Parada led the way with 3 hits and 5 RBIs, but all of Georgia Tech’s bats seemed to contribute with 17 hits scattered throughout the game. Cody Carwile also provided some good pitching as he provided 4 scoreless innings.
March 13th: 2nd game of Double Header; I begin questioning how much baseball is too much baseball as the game goes to 14 innings, but Georgia Tech walks it off for a 7-6 win
This was a shortened day with daylight savings time, where we played a double header and one of those games went 14 innings. I could use an off day, and I’m just a fan.
Plenty took place in this game. despite going to extra innings the game showed a good outing from Marquis Grissom Jr., Dalton Smith, Dawson Brown, and Logan McGuire. Marquis and Dalton got the team off to a hot start keeping VPISU in check as our bats did their job.
Innings 7 through 9 were where the problems started. The bats went silent and there were just enough gaps in the pitching game for the Hokies to tie things up. Luckily Dawson and Logan were able to put things back in order in the extra innings.
There were many opportunities for the Jackets to close things out in extras, but we just could not find that 1 hit we needed to drive in a winning run. Finally in the 14th, VPISU scored a run to put them ahead. This seemed to bring the GT bats to life. With 2 outs on the board in the bottom of the 14th, the team was able to tie things up and tee up the ball for Tres’ Gonzales to hit the first walk off of his career.
You gotta be feeling pretty good about things for the baseball team after this week. Sure there were 2 losses and plenty of scares, but Tech faced their first real opponents and won both full series they played.
Hitting is a strong point. Andrew Jenkins, Chandler Simpson, and Kevin Parada have been on fire to start the season. All batters seem to be contributing in some way when the opportunity calls for it.
On the other side, pitching has shown some weaknesses when it comes to giving up walks when under pressure. That said, the bullpen continues to come through when they are called upon and have the ability to both strikeout batters and rely on their fielders when necessary.
If you haven’t been paying attention to baseball you may want to start watching. This team has the talent and motivation to go places. They continue their home stand on Tuesday and Wednesday against Jackson State and will finish out next weekend against Wake forest at home. So if you’re nearby try to pick up some tickets and spend time at Russ Chandler ballpark. If you aren’t in the Atlanta area check out the games on the watch espn app/website. This is a great team, time to start showing more support. Go Jackets!