Georgia Tech (1-3) took a trip down I-16 to Statesboro Wednesday night to take on in-state foe Georgia Southern. The Jackets were looking to rebound from a 1-2 start over this past opening weekend, but it didn't really work out in their favor.
Tech took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second on a double from Brandon Gold that scored Daniel Spingola from first. The lead was erased by a Garrett Chapman homer at the bottom of the frame, and the Jackets never led again. Southern added two more runs in the third and another in the fourth to take a 4-1 lead. The Jackets closed the gap with two runs in the seventh on an error off a Keenan Innis sac bunt and a Matt Gonzalez sac fly, but that would be all for Georgia Tech's offensive output. They finished with 5 hits and 7 LOB, a lackluster offensive performance consistent with those of Saturday and Sunday. This will need to get turned around immediately if Tech is to be a player in the ACC this year.
Starter Zac Ryan only made it 2 2/3 innings, and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 BB's with 2 K's in that span. He was replaced by Ben Parr, who got two outs while giving up 1 run on 2 hits and 1 BB with no K's. Alex Cruz was brought in to stop the bleeding and did so, giving Tech a really nice 4 innings of work with no runs and only 3 hits.
The major issues in this game for Tech were their early-game pitching and their offensive output. It only took Georgia Southern 10 outs to score their four runs, but that burned through two pitchers who Tech will need to carry a lot of the mid-week load this season. Whether it's them or others, Danny Hall needs to find a core of guys who can give him solid starts mid-week if this team is to reach levels it's reached in recent years. Similarly, the offense is going to have to get better. Now, for all we know, it's just a strange early-season slump. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. What's for sure though is that this sort of offensive output won't fly against a lot of the teams Tech will be playing this season.
Here's to hoping there are better days in the near future for Beesball.
Did you watch tonight's game? Worried about the trend this team is setting early in the season? At 3-1, do you think Southern is for real this year?