Danny Hall and Georgia Tech Baseball could not have asked for a better weekend to open up ACC play and in the process made an early season statement.
The No.15 Yellow Jackets swept the No.13 North Carolina State Wolfpack, dominating at the plate while cruising to victory behind quality pitching performances.
The Jackets outscored the Wolfpack 25-9 over the three-game series, scoring at least eight runs in all three games and only allowing two, three, and four runs apiece.
Friday: 9-2 win
On Friday night, the Jackets opened up the series with a 9-2 victory. Starting pitcher Brant Hurter was dominant in his six innings on the mound, allowing just one run (unearned) on two hits. He also struck out six over 87 pitches. Offensively, the star of the show was freshman catcher Kevin Parada who went 4-for-4 in the game with two runs batted in, he finished a home run shy of the cycle. Vanderbilt transfer Justyn-Henry Malloy went 2-for-4 in the game while driving in three. The game would be paused heading into the ninth inning and would be picked up on Saturday, where the Jackets would officially close the door on the victory.
Saturday: 8-3 win
Saturday’s regularly scheduled game was much the same for the Yellow Jackets. Starting pitcher Andy Archer was solid in his 4 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk but the Jackets bats were once again the story. The highlight of the game coming in the seventh innings when the Jackets saw Luke Waddell, Justyn-Henry Malloy, and Kevin Parada hit back-to-back-to-back home runs to put the Jackets up by their eventual winning margin, 8-3. Also worth noting was the strong efforts out of Dalton Smith and Jackson Finley in relief, allowing just two hits over 4 1/3 innings pitched while striking out nine.
Sunday: 8-4 win
Sam Crawford got then start and pitched a quality 3 2/3 innings but perhaps not the most efficient. Over his time on the mound, he allowed two hits and three walks while allowing just one earned run. The bullpen was needed in the game and for a third-straight game, they had a good showing. Head coach Danny Hall used five different relievers in the victory, with Ben King, Joseph Mannelly, Chance Huff, Zack Maxwell, and Luke Bartnicki. The five relievers allowed just three runs over their 5 1/3 innings. It wasn’t a perfect day but after struggling last week, the Jackets relievers this weekend were outstanding for the most part and was a huge part of their ability to sweep the Wolfpack.
With the sweep, the Jackets improve their early season record to 6-1 and are now winners of five-straight. Their 4-0 week moved them up 52 spots in the RPI ratings per Warren Nolan, moving them into the top-25 at No.23. They’ll now hit the diamond again on Tuesday afternoon against the Georgia State Panthers. The Panthers enter this week at 3-6 on the season, losers of five of their last six. The lone win in their last six games came against No.2 Vanderbilt on Friday night.
The Jackets are also set for their first home ACC series of the season this upcoming weekend against the Louisville Cardinals. The Cardinals are 6-1 this season and have a mid-week matchup against Morehead State on Tuesday night.