The Georgia Tech Baseball team improved their record to 2-0 on the season on Saturday afternoon against the Cincinnati Bears with a win.
The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-0) found victory No.2 of the 2020 season on Saturday aftrnoon against the American Athletic Conference’s Cincinnati Bearcats (0-2). The Jackets came away with a 6-4 victory over Cincinnati thanks to big fifth inning offensively while holding off a late Cincinnati rally.
For the first four-and-half innings, fans saw a pitching duel between Tech starter Jonathan Hughes (1-0) and Cincinnati pitcher Nathan Kroger.
The Bearcats took the early lead on Saturday, picking up a run in the top of the first inning an RBI ground out by left fielder Joey Wermer who scored second baseman Jace Mercer who tripled to start off the game. Following the triple and RBI ground out, Jonathan Hughes really settled in for the remainder of his appearance.
The redshirt senior and former second-round draft pick of the Baltimore Orioles would go five innings strong allowing just the one run on five hits. He only struck out two in the game but showed quality control, throwing 44 strikes out of his 64 pitches.
The Yellow Jackets through the first four innings struggled to get anything going, managing three hits and walking once. In the fifth inning, however, the Jackets bats would come alive. After Austin Wilhite singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth, Luke Waddell would tie the game with an RBI triple to center field. Michael Guldberg would bring in Waddell a batter later with an RBI single.
The Jackets would use their patience in the inning and work back-to-back walks with Baron Radcliffe and Colin Hall working walks on eight-straight pitches. The Jackets would then add a run, one batter later on a wild pitch by Kroger. Kroger would walk true freshman Drew Compton, his third straight walk before being lifted from the game.
The Jackets would add one more run in the inning, coming off the bat of Andrew Jenkins on a sacrifice fly that scored Baron Radcliffe. The Jackets would end the fifth inning with a 4-1 lead. In the seventh inning, the Jackets added two insurance runs to increase their lead to 6-1 heading into the eighth inning.
The Bearcats would look to rally while down five in the eighth inning. The inning would get off to an ominous start when third baseman Jackson Webb was unable to get Cincinnati catcher Joe Powell out and instead had an error allowing him to reach safely. The next batter was hit by Archer who was in his third inning of work. An RBI single and then a fielders choice would bring across two for the Bearcats before scoring third run in the inning on a Joey Bellini sacrifice fly. Archer would, however, be able to stop the bleeding following the third run.
Head coach Danny Hall would send Archer back out for the ninth inning despite the eighth inning struggles and the decision would pan out. Archer in the top of the ninth would strike out the Bearcats in order to seal the deal for the victory and give them a 6-4 victory.
Player of the Game:
Our player of the game is redshirt senior Jonathan Hughes who picked up the victory on Saturday afternoon. Hughes put together a great performance in his first start of the season. Hughes showed great control throughout the game, throwing 68.75% strikes while not allowing any walks and only hitting one. The Bearcats didn’t get a ton of hard contact on Hughes either, limiting the damage when they did make contact. After the triple and RBI ground out to start the game, Hughes seemed to really settle in and helped guide the Jackets to victory.
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The Yellow Jackets will look to finish their opening week with a win over the Big East’s St. John’s Red Storm. The Red Storm lost to Kennesaw State 10-1 on Friday night and were losing to Georgia State 7-5 at the time of posting. First pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium. Fans can watch the game on ACC Network Extra or listen to it via WRECK FM 91.1.