The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets started their 2020 season on Friday off on the right foot with a 6-0 victory over the St. Peter’s Peacocks.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets earned their first victory of the 2020 season on Friday evening over the St. Peter’s Peacocks. The Yellow Jackets used a big performance from their pitching staff including five tremendous innings of relief. Additionally, the Yellow Jackets saw seven true freshman record quality performances in their first career action on Friday.
True freshman Zach Maxwell got the start for the Yellow Jackets on Friday afternoon. The Georgia native had an up-and-down first inning of work. After getting the first two outs of the game rather easily including his first career strikeout, Maxwell had some struggles. He would allow each of the next three Peacocks to reach base including two walks and two passed balls.
When it comes to passed balls, Maxwell doesn’t have the benefit of a doubt of having a veteran catcher behind the plate as fellow true freshman Jake Holland got the start for the Jackets. Maxwell, however, would get out of the first inning jam without allowing a run.
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Drew Compton opened up the scoring in the game in the bottom the second inning. The true freshman first baseman smoked a Ian Concevitch pitch off the right field foul pole to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead. Later in the second, Jake Holland recorded his first career hit, a double, just missing his first career home run. The next batter, senior Austin Wilhite would knock Holland in with an RBI single, putting the Jackets up 2-0.
The Jackets would look for more in the second, loading the bases for Baron Radcliffe. Radcliffe would turn on a pitch and make great contact, unfortunately, he sent it to the deepest part of the park. St. Peter’s Andrew Connor also made a tremendous catch in the process, keeping the Jackets lead at 2-0.
The Jackets would extend their lead to three in third when Jackson Webb drove in Drew Compton on a sacrifice fly. After two good at bats in his first two appearances at the plate, Baron Radcliffe would find his first hit of the season, an RBI triple in the fourth that scored Lucas Waddell to increase the Jackets lead to four.
In the process of the Jackets adding to their lead offensively, pitcher Zach Maxwell would go four innings. Outside of the first inning jam, Maxwell pitched really well for the most part and only allowed one hit and striking out five throughout his four innings and 18 batters faced. He did however, manage through four walks in the game. Outside of some control issues, it was a promising start to Maxwell’s career. As a power pitcher, Maxwell is bound to have some control issues. If he can manage those issues, he’ll be in a great position to be an impactful pitcher down the road for the Jackets.
The Jackets bats would be silent until the seventh inning when they added their fifth and sixth runs. Colin Hall picked up his first RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly allowing Michael Guldberg to score while Jackson Webb picked up his second RBI on his second sacrifice fly of the day.
The Jackets on Friday night got a tremendous effort out of a trio of freshman relievers, with five innings of shutout baseball, allowing just three hits and one walk in the process. They would end up facing just one batter over the minimum in their five innings. Freshman Dal Smith picked up the victory relieving Zach Maxwell for the fifth and sixth innings. He allowed just one hit while striking out three. Fellow freshman Brody Wresbrooks had two tremendous relief innings himself, striking out four and allowing no base runners. Finally, freshman Ben King finished off the game for the Jackets, working the ninth inning, striking out one while allowing one hit.
Overall, Friday afternoon was a great way for the Jackets to begin the 2020 season. While you would like to see the Jackets have a bit more offensive production from their lineup against what was one of the country’s worst pitching staffs last year, you certainly can’t knock an eight-hit, six-run performance. The Yellow Jackets also drew six walks in the game and didn’t strike out once. Entering this season, it was known that the Jackets needed their true freshman this season to step up in order to live up to expectations. IF Friday was any warning of what to expect, the Yellow Jackets are going to have quite the mix of quality veteran leadership and young blooming talent.
Tech Star of the Game:
Our star of the game for the season opener is actually going to be the “stars” of the game. Those stars of the game will be Georgia Tech’s freshman who played a big part in their 6-0 win on Friday afternoon. Starting pitcher Zach Maxwell pitched four shutout innings and looked promising in the process. First baseman Drew Compton technically had the game winning run on his first career home run in the second but also walked twice and finished the game with a team high two runs. Jake Holland earned his first career hit in the game while also earning his first career run. Of course, there’s also the trio of freshman relievers who helped seal the deal. Smith, Westbrooks, and King set the tone for the Jackets bullpen going forward.
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The Jackets will take the field once again on Saturday when they take on the Cincinnati Bearcats at 2:30 p.m.. At the time of posting, the Bearcats were tied with Georgia State in the eighth inning at 6-6.