Last week Georgia Tech needed a decent series to restore confidence after ending the previous weekend 1-2 with a tough trip to Charlottesville. Last week was the time to prove the Jackets weren’t going to quit on the season and had the gumption to continue forward after some early struggles. While it wasn’t a perfect week, it certainly answered a few questions.
April 5th: How much scoring is too much scoring? The Rambling Wreck runs over USC Upstate 27-4.
The only stats you really need were on the scoreboard Tuesday night. 23 hits and 27 runs, ‘nuff said. Vengeance may have played a factor in this game. As reader Bill Brockman pointed out, USC Upstate gave GT an embarrassing loss last year, so some of our players may have been looking for an opportunity to make a statement.
All the hitters were on line for this one, and it was a slaughter. Special shoutout to Jack DeLeo who had 5 hits on 6 at bats. Pitching was good and didn’t need to do much but keep things in check. The one weird factor was that GT went through 8 pitchers throughout the duration of the game which is quite a few given how far ahead GT was the entire time. I guess the rationale was if the work is spread it will leave all the arms fresher for an upcoming weekend series.
April 8th: Seminoles are unable to overcome the early hit onslaught. GT wins 7-3
16 hits in this game, so for those counting that is 39 hits for the GT team over 18 innings on the week so far. Averaging 2 hits an inning over a week is usually a good sign, and it definitely was in this game.
FSU’s biggest strength is their pitching and GT jumped on the pitchers early with some big hits. The Jackets got up early in the game and had a 6-1 lead by the end of the 3rd inning. Andrew Jenkins went 5-5 on the night, Kevin Parada had 3 RBIs, All around it was a pretty good day for everyone.
Pitching also showed through as Chance Huff went 6 innings and acquired 8 strike outs while giving up only 1 earned run. Nice job.
April 9th: Jackets cannot hold Back Seminoles in the late innings. FSU wins 9-6
This one was pretty back and forth. Neither team wanted to give in, much respect on both sides.
The early innings had bouts where both teams displayed tenacity at hitting and on the base paths. Eventually the game stalled to a stalemate in the later innings. This would change as the Seminoles finally broke things open in the top of the 8th to put themselves ahead by 2 scores. From there GT simply could not get back into the game.
Jonah Scolaro was the FSU pitcher who shut us down at the end of the game with an impressive 1.2 innings of no hit ball against a team which has been on fire at the plate. Tough loss that the Jackets found a way to recover from on Sunday.
April 10th: Jackets Wreck the FSU squad 10-0
The Jackets capped of the weekend by putting themselves on cruise control. Georgia Tech showed what their pitching can do and continued to deliver big on hitting as they had all weekend. This was the first ACC series win since the sweep of VPISU earlier in the season. The Jackets definitely needed this one as it builds confidence that GT does match up well with top 25 teams.
Hitting continued without slowing and the pitching from Marquis Grissom Jr. was on point. despite the hits and walks Marquis avoided giving up any runs through 5.2 innings. Good Job Marquis.
You gotta be happy with this week’s results. Taking 2 of 3 from the 20th ranked team in the land and crushing an opponent who embarrassed you last year is always good. Pitching continued to show some struggles in the late innings on Saturday but overall this was a good result for the team.
The hitting continued to show that it will not slow down as the season goes on, with Chandler Simpson currently averaging .477 at the plate and Kevin Parada holding 15 HRs and 50 RBIs on the season. Even against tougher opponents like FSU our bats sing. Fielding has stabilized and the players seem much more comfortable on the field than they did on the past few road trips.
Pitching has still shown some shakiness. Coach Hall seems to still be toying with the rotation. Zach Maxwell showed he was an effective starter the previous weekend against UVA, but was mainly used as a reliever this weekend. Chance Huff appears to be the most consistent starter, and Marquis Grissom Jr. has shown he can be effective if he controls the numbers of walks he gives up.
The Relievers have been a mixed bag. We have a deep and talented bullpen, but the younger pitchers just have not found their confidence on the mound. We have seen more than a few games this season slip away because of runs given up in late innings from a younger reliever. They have the talent, the crew just needs to find some more experience.
This upcoming week the Jackets will face Georgia State on Tuesday and then go on the road to play a series at Chapel Hill against UNC this weekend. Last weekend our boys showed tenacity and talent against a team ranked in the top 25. The Jackets will need to show that again this weekend as they play a Tar Heel team which has only lost 2 games at home this year. The Tar Heels show similarity to FSU, in that they rely on good pitching and fielding to keep opponents in check and win low scoring games. Hopefully our team can learn from this past weekend and apply what they now going into this next matchup. Till next time, Go Jackets!