Georgia Tech Baseball: A look at the Jackets struggles at the plate

4 Mar 1998: A general view of a baseball laying in a glove on the grass during an Arizona Diamondbacks spring training game against the Chicago Cubs at Hohkam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 9-8.
4 Mar 1998: A general view of a baseball laying in a glove on the grass during an Arizona Diamondbacks spring training game against the Chicago Cubs at Hohkam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated the Cubs 9-8. /

Through the last few seasons, Georgia Tech baseball’s usual downfall has been their pitching but so far in 2019, it’s the Jackets bats that are having issues.

No matter how strong of a pitching staff that head coach Danny Hall put together, there has usually been one part of Georgia Tech’s baseball team that has always stayed consistent. The Jackets abilities at the plate. That being said, through the first two weeks of the 2019 season, the Jackets bats have been nearly dead silent and it’s a big reason the Jackets are at 3-3 on the season.

Through six games, the Yellow Jackets as a team are hitting at just .200 on the season. With an even 200 at-bats on the season through six games, the Jackets have just 40 hits. Now, it’s early in the season and the overall numbers are going to go up over time but for reference, the Jackets lowest batting average this decade as a team was .270 (2015). So it’s safe to say that the batting totals for the Jackets this season are far from the ordinary on The Flats.

vs UIC: 10 hits

vs Richmond: 5 hits

vs West Virginia: 10 hits

vs UCLA:  7 hits

vs UCLA: 4 hits

vs UCLA: 4 hits

As we see above, three games have really drastically made a difference in the Jackets batting stats on the season. One game against Richmond and two-games against UCLA. The Jackets have shown an ability to make solid contact this year and even in those three games mentioned above, the Jackets made some solid contact but also had a ton of bad luck. A good indicator of this is the fact that the Jackets aren’t striking out an alarming rate, though they do need to lower their average of just over 7 per game right now.

But for the Jackets, the majority of their struggles have come down to the fact that outside of three players, no Jacket is hitting above .200. Here’s a full breakdown of the batting averages of each Jacket who’s played in all six games.

  • Austin Wilhite: .350
  • Michael Guldberg: .308
  • Kyle McCann: .304
  • Chase Murray: .185
  • Colin Hall: .174
  • Oscar Serratos: .167
  • Nick Wilhite: .158
  • Tristin English:


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    Now, the good news out of these eight players is that Austin Wilhite hit just .249 last season for the Yellow Jackets so his hot start is great for the Yellow Jackets going forward, especially if he continues hitting at such a high level. Guldberg is hitting well but below where hit last year, as hit he .368 with 38 at-bats. McCann is hitting nearly at the same spot he did last year when he hit .300, McCann has the biggest weight of anybody as he’s in charge of replacing Joey Bart.

    Now, the biggest problem out of these eight guys has to be the hitting of Chase Murray. Murray, a potential All-American coming into the season was expected to pick up where he left off last season. Last year, Murray hit a staggering.343 on the season. In his freshman season, he hit above .300 as well which makes these struggles are the more unusual. That being said, with his track record, Murray should be able to turn around his bat sooner than later. But if he doesn’t it takes a real sting out of the Jackets lineup at the top of the order.

    A similar stance could be taken with Oscar Serratos as he hit .311 last season as a true freshman. Of course, he doesn’t have the track record of Chase Murray but the talent is obviously there to have success.

    When it comes to Hall and English, both have had their struggles in the past but they’ve also been able to always find ways to get on base and put up quality numbers this year. If there are two players that could see extensive struggles, Hall and English are probably at the top of that list but that’s not a knock on their talent.

    Nick Wilhite, however, is hitting right around where he did last year when he hit .155 on the season, even with 116 at-bats. Wilhite has struggled throughout his career so far, Hall may have to make a tough decision to take his bat out of the lineup if these struggles continue.

    Now, overall, it’s probably smart to contribute bad luck more than anything to the Jackets struggles but either way, they’re lack of hitting is a big reason they’re 3-3 on the season and even when they win, they’re close games. The Jackets have the talent to be one of the top teams in the ACC and the pitching staff this season hasn’t been horrible but it hasn’t been great either. Either way, if the Jackets bats don’t wake up soon, they could find themselves in a tough hole going forward.

    The Jackets next chance to wake up their bats will on Tuesday when they begin the first part of a home-and-home series with the Georgia State Panthers.