The second game of Georgia Tech’s weekend series against UCLA did not go to plan as the Jackets fell 8-2.
A four-run third inning by UCLA on Saturday afternoon all but ended Georgia Tech’s chances on Saturday afternoon against one of the country’s best teams. After a thrilling 4-3 victory on Friday night, thanks to a walk-off home run by Kyle McCann, the Jackets entered Saturday looking for a series win over the Bruins. That goal will have to wait until tomorrow, however, as the Jackets fell 8-2 to the Bruins at Russ Chandler Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Junior let hander Connor Thomas took the hill for the Jackets on Saturday but was shelled in his five innings of work. After allowing two runs in the second inning, Thomas returned out for the third and at one point appeared to have gotten out of the inning unscathed. However, a would-be inning-ending double-play was just a tad too slow and from there the Bruins would take advantage.
A two-run double down the left field line by UCLA first baseman Michael Togila and a two-run home run by freshman Matt McLain would give the Bruins a four-run spot in the third inning and a 6-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third. Thomas would end his day after five innings, with a line 6 ER, 9 H, 1 BB, and 5 K. Not the line he was hoping for after a strong start last Sunday against West Virginia.
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For the Jackets, the bats never really got started against the Bruins strong pitching staff. Freshman righty Jack Ralston pitched five quality innings, allowing just 2 ER over 4 hits and 4 walks. The Bruins bullpen would keep the Jackets bats silent as well, allowing just a single base runner over the final four frames.
The only offense the Jackets did get in the game came on a first-inning sac-fly by Connor Thomas and a Nick Wilhite RBI ground out in the fourth. As a team, the Jackets hit .138 for the game and got just four runners into score position for the game while UCLA saw 10 runners get at least to second base during the game.
- Tech infielder Luke Waddell hurt his knee in Friday night’s win over the Bruins and has a knee sprain according to the Jackets telecast today. Waddell is expected to be out for a week. He’s struggled out of the gate so far this season, in just 3 of his 16 plate appearances.
- The Georgia Tech bullpen through two games this series has been rather strong. The bullpen has allowed just three runs over 10 innings against one of the better lineups in college baseball. A strong bullpen will do the Jackets wonders going forward.
- The Jackets top four hitters on Saturday went a combined 2-for-13 on Saturday. Only one of the Jackets top four hitters are hitting above .230 that being catcher Kyle McCann who’s hitting an even .300 after Saturday’s game.
- The Jackets four hits are their lowest output of the season so far while their 13 hits allowed is tied for the most they’ve allowed this season. They also allowed 13 hits in their 7-1 loss against Richmond.
The loss drops the Yellow Jackets record to 3-2 on the season while it pushes UCLA’s record to 5-1 on the season. The two teams will return to Russ Chandler Stadium tomorrow afternoon for the rubber match of the series between Tech sophomore Brant Hurter and UCLA freshman Jesse Bergin.