Since I've missed a few weeks, I'm not going to put the box scores for each individual game here. Instead, I'm just going to post the links to recaps from RamblinWreck.com
Auburn (1-0): Midweek
Auburn (0-1): Midweek
Kennesaw State (1-0): Midweek
Alright, now let's take a look at what can be learned from the last couple of weeks.
1. Tech has been good so far this year, but we should get a pretty good idea of just how good they are after this weekend
Tech is 16-4 right now and that is very good. It's one of the best starts they've had in a long time. This weekend, they face arguably the toughest opponent to date in North Carolina. The Tar Heels currently sit at 18-2 and have been doing it in a similar way to Tech: offense. They have scored double digits in more than half of their games.
Another challenge for Tech is that this series will be on the road, where the Yellow Jackets are 3-3, including a sweep from Florida State.
This series will give Tech the opportunity to show that it belongs among the top-ranked teams in the country.
2. Matt Gonzalez is trying to end his career at Tech with a BANG!
If you haven't been able to tell by just watching/listening to the games, let me just share Matt Gonzalez's stats with you to show just how good he has been this season.
He has a slash line of .384/.433/.593, four home runs, 23 RBIs, 6-of-10 in stolen bases. Of those, he leads the Yellow Jackets in everything but that slash line. He's also been doing this while playing between the outfield and third base. He is a team player and has shown that he doesn't always start off sluggish. He's trying to finish his time at Tech with a BANG!
3. The younger guys on this team are helping make the team as good as it is
Yeah, I just got done talking about how Matt Gonzalez is soooo good, but he's just one player. There are also quite a few players who are freshmen or sophomores.
The main guys I'm talking about here: Joey Bart (freshman), Trevor Craport (sophomore), Kel Johnson (sophomore), Burton Dulaney (freshman), Jonathan Hughes (freshman) and Keyton Gibson (freshman).
On offense, Bart, Craport and Johnson, are among the team leaders in most of the offensive categories. Bart and Johnson have been the most impressive, as Craport has cooled off a little bit since his early season tear. Bart leads the team in batting average with a .435 average.
On the pitching side, Dulaney, Hughes and Gibson, have all been doing their parts, as either a starter or reliever, and have been doing that well. They have a combined 6-1 record and none of them have an ERAconn over 3.00.
4. Breakout players: Connor Justus and Matthew Gorst
All of these players have been great, but there have been two that have really broken out for the Jackets. First up is Connor Justus. Up to this point, Justus had been a defense-first, bat-later short stop with a dynamite glove and a good arm. He's still a good defender, though he has had a couple lapses this year, but his offense has taken a huge step up this year.
He's currently second on the team with a .415 batting average and has also added a .495 OBP, .646 slugging (best on the team), two home runs and 16 RBIs. He's become a much more complete player and has really settled into his own as one of the top short stops in the college game.
Following a suspension of Zac Ryan at the beginning of the season for violating institutional policy, Matthew Gorst got the opportunity to show what he can do as the closer. Needless to say, he's done a pretty good job of it, allowing Ryan to help the rotation out.
Gorst has pitched in 12.2 innings among 10 games this season and has a 0.71 ERA and four saves. He's also added in 19 strikeouts to just two walks. If you will remember to a couple years ago when Sam Clay was having his dynamite season out of Tech's bullpen, well Gorst's season this year reminds me a lot of that season. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, Gorst should remain the closer for the rest of the season, and that's a very good thing.