After a slightly disappointing season last year, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (32-23, 13-17 ACC) get back to action with the annual White-Gold series. Below, you can find each of the teams' rosters and the pitching match-ups for the weekend.
This team, led by Matt Gonzalez, is pretty loaded. Between Gonzalez and Keenan Innis, the team has two offensive threats. Last season Gonzalez bat .285 with five home runs (third on the team) and 42 RBI (second), while also swiping 10 bags. He also brings defensive versatility to play both third base and left field. Last year he was predominately at third base, but the year before that, he put the fear of God in to runners rounding third when he was in left.
Keenan Innis also brings some defensive versatility being able to play all three of the outfield spots, though he is primarily a center fielder, especially now that former Tech center fielder Daniel Spingola has graduated. Last season, Innis bat .310 but didn't hit any home runs. His .370 on-base percentage, though, consistently put him in positions for the offense to capitalize.
Standing out from this team are a few players. First and foremost among those players is sophomore outfielder Kel Johnson. Even in spite of an injury that kept him out for part of the season, Johnson still finished as a freshman All-American and, except for A.J. Murray, was Tech's best offensive threat last season. He finished the year hitting .298 with 10 home runs and 34 RBI. His .570 slugging percentage is the best of all returning players this season.
Another player that sticks out is Brandon Gold. Most of you who follow Beesball remember what Gold was able to do from the pitching mound (if not, I'll talk about that in a second), but he also did a pretty good job offensively too. He only came to the plate in 26 games, but he finished the season .273 with a home run and 11 RBI. He also had an on-base percentage of .371 and slugging of .403. If he gets more plate appearances, he could definitely be a threat.
Finally, we have the player who led Tech in batting average last year: Ryan Peurifoy. Last year, Peurifoy finished with a .324 batting average and hit two home runs with 18 RBI. He wasn't an everyday starter, so that limited his plate appearances to an extent, only having 102 at-bats last year.
Game 1: Friday, October 16 @ 4 p.m. -- RHP Zac Ryan (White) vs. LHP Ben Parr (Gold)
As our closer last season, Zac Ryan was one of our best pitchers. He finished the season 9-1 with a 3.59 ERA and seven saves. He pitches 47.2 innings and struck out 40 batters while only walking 15.
Ben Parr was another one of our top pitchers last year, especially towards the end of the year. He finished with a 5-4 record and a 4.53 ERA. Only nine of his 19 appearances were starts, so he was limited to just 59.2 innings and struck out 29 batters, but walked 34.
Game 2: Sunday, October 18 @ 2 p.m. -- RHP Brandon Gold (Gold) vs. RHP Cole Pitts (White)
Brandon Gold was the team's top pitcher last season. He started off the season absolutely dominant and nearly unhittable. As the season progressed, he came back down to earth and still finished with a good season, finishing with a 7-3 record and a 3.26 ERA. He struck out 71 batters and walked 25 in his 85.2 innings pitched.
Cole Pitts fell out of favor a bit last season after struggling consistently throughout the season. He finished the season winless at 0-6 with a 6.90 ERA. He struck out and walked 32 batters each in his 45.2 innings pitched. He also gave up a .291 opponent's batting average.
Game 3: Tuesday, October 20 @ 4 p.m. -- RHP Jonathan Hughes (Gold) vs. RHP Patrick Wiseman (White)
Jonathan Huges in his first season at Tech and came in as one of the most heralded recruits in this No. 4 overall class. After being selected in the second round of the MLB draft last year, Hughes opted to fulfill his commitment to Georgia Tech.
Patrick Wiseman didn't start a single game last season, but had eight relief appearances spread across 7.2 innings. He finished with a 0-0 record and a 5.87 ERA. He struck out and walked five batters