I half-feared this could be a trap game against the Tigers of Savannah State, coming less than 24 hours after Tech was humbled by Miami for the second straight day. I needn’t have been concerned.
Savannah came in with a 11-37 record and an RPI of 290. The best team they have beaten is Florida A&M (twice). They sent weekend starter Trevor McKenna against Keyton Gibson for Tech.
|Savannah State (11-38)||0||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||8||2|
|#20 Georgia Tech (32-16)||4||3||1||1||0||1||4||7||X||21||27||0|
The Jackets jumped on top early with 4 runs in the 1st on RBI from Tristin English, Trevor Craport, Brandt Stallings, and Carter Hall. The Tigers made some noise in their 2nd, getting within 1 run on 5 hits. That would be it for them, although Grady HS alumnus Mendez Elder would have a good offensive game, going 3 for 3.
Rather than trying to detail the game, I’ll just give some great highlights:
- Matt Gonzalez went 4-for-6, and in the process passed Tech Coach Brian Prince for 9th on the school’s all-time leaderboard in career hits with 279.
- Junior transfer Coleman Poje came in as a pinch hitter and first baseman and got his first two career home runs as a Jacket in the 7th and 8th. Amazingly, the 2nd one was an inside-the-park homer, just a little over one day after Gonzalez recorded the team’s first after more than 4 years. Poje had 6 RBI on his two homers.
- Senior (and new graduate) Grant Wruble hit his first career home run in the 8th.
- Pitchers Patrick Wiseman and Jonathan King both batted twice in the 8th as Tech batted around. Wiseman got an infield single and a fly ball single to create a career batting average of 1.000. King unfortunately hit into a double play and also made the final out. Pitcher Ben Parr played left field and Wiseman remained in the game to play first base for the top of the 9th.
- Gibson (after the 2nd), Bailey Combs, Bobby Gauvreau, and Matthew Gorst pitched shutout ball, and avoided the walks that have killed Tech. Only two Tigers were given bases on balls, both by Gibson, who also recorded 7 strikeouts.
- Wade Bailey went 5-for-6, Craport was 3-for-5 including a home run, Stallings was 3-for-6, and Arden Pabst finished 3-for-3.
- The Tigers used seven pitchers, and only one managed to not give up a run.
- The final was 21-3, and the Jackets finished with 27 hits.
The win actually hurt Georgia Tech’s RPI, dropping them to #19 from #16 -- an artifact of the RPI system. Most importantly, in my opinion, the game was a psychological boost for Tech after the disappointing Miami series.
The Jackets now travel to Charlottesville for a crucial series against the team above them in the standings. With their tenuous hold on 6th place, wins will be needed this weekend. The series begins at 6:00pm on Friday. Go Jackets!