The second exhibition game of the fall was a 12 inning affair with a nine batter per inning limit and each pitcher threw one full inning. Chattahoochee Valley CC from Alabama provided the surprisingly stout competition, outscoring Tech 5-4.
The Jackets have a lot of pitching
Despite several stalwarts from 2018 sitting this one out for arm rest, Tech had no trouble putting a dozen decent arms on the mound. Expected weekend starters Connor Thomas and Xzavion Curry each faced the minimum, as did Jonathan Hughes, Keyton Gibson, Luke Bartnicki, Cort Roedig, and Joseph Mannelly. Walker Barlow, Sam Crawford, and Jake Brace all had scoreless innings. Only Jake Lee had a bad inning, which ended with two outs, the bases loaded, and four runs scored on the batter limit. Tristin English, Brant Hurter, and Andy Archer should all be pitching in the spring.
The offense is behind the pitching
Reliable Tristin English playing at first had two RBI, and sophomore backup catcher Cameron Turley and freshman outfielder Carter Tally had one each. The Jackets left too many runners in scoring position, for example in the 9th when a line drive went right to a fielder for a double play with the bases loaded. I would have liked to see the Jackets hit a CC pitching staff harder than this. Kyle McCann with his power did not play this game due to minor injury.
Tech’s defense improved
After seven errors in the exhibition game against SC, only one was recorded today. Clearly three weeks of practice helped. Several sparkling defensive plays were made by Oscar Serratos, Austin Wilhite, Luke Waddell, and Paxton Rigby. Speaking of Rigby, I would expect him to play first base when Tristin English is DH or pitching. Freshman Ryan Miller also played briefly at first, and didn’t look comfortable, perhaps an unfair judgement on his first chance. Luke Waddell looks to be a reliable replacement for four year starter Wade Bailey.
There is an intra-squad game this week, and then the team is off until January.