Jackets take down Georgia Southern 13-2

The baseball team enjoyed a successful week, sweeping their weekend series against the Duke Blue Devils before taking both games against in-state rivals. They blasted the Georgia Southern Eagles 13-2 on Tuesday and beat the Savannah State Tigers, 12-1, on Wednesday night. Their overall record now stands at 21-13, and they improved to 8-7 in the ACC as they head into this weekend’s matchup with Florida State.

The Jackets dug themselves into a 4-0 hole after three innings against Duke on Friday, but scored the final seven runs of the game to win 7-4. The team lit up the scoreboard in the sixth inning, starting with a leadoff home run by Daniel Spingola. Five batters and two outs later, Ryan Peurifoy singled to drive home Thomas Smith. Then, a walk and two singles with the bases loaded brought home three more runs to cap off a five run inning for Tech.

The team bested Duke again on Saturday by a score of 5-1, highlighted by A.J. Murray’s three runs batted in and Devin Stanton’s six shutout innings on the mound. On Sunday, Duke starting pitcher Michael Matuella took a perfect game into the sixth inning, pitched a complete game and gave up zero earned runs but received no run support as the Jackets won 1-0.

The perfect game was broken up by a Brandon Gold single up the middle. Mott Hyde followed that with another single, and both runners advanced to scoring position on a passed ball. This set up an infield single by Spingola to drive in Gold for the only run of the game.

Against Georgia Southern on Tuesday, the Jackets got it started offensively in the first inning when Hyde was hit by a pitch and Matt Gonzalez doubled down the left field line to put runners on second and third. Hyde then scored on an infield single by Smith, with Smith hustling down the line to barely beat the throw to first. Another hit batsman loaded the bases, but the inning ended on a four-pitch strikeout by the next batter.

GSU tied the game in the second inning when Stryker Brown lined it just over shortstop Connor Justus’s reach to bring home Garrett Chapman.

Two more hit batters to begin the second inning—Gold on the upper arm and Arden Pabst in the head—prompted GSU pitcher Will Middour’s exit from the game. He had no control over his pitches, giving up two earned runs on two hits and plunking four of the nine batters he faced. Pabst was shaken up on the play and received attention from the trainers and left the game after the inning. Spingola then laced a single to center field that scored Gold from second, and Gonzalez followed that with a triple that bounced past the centerfielder to drive in two more runs. He scored on a groundout by Smith, and the Jackets led 5-1 after two innings.

Connor Justus lead off the fifth inning with his first home run of the season on a shot just over the wall down the left field line. Later, a Spingola single to right drove in Gold, and Gonzalez immediately followed that with a single to third to bring in Mitch Earnest. Smith doubled down the left field line on a ball that barely stayed fair before bouncing around in the corner, bringing home two more runs. AJ Murray then homered on a rocket to left-center to score two more, capping off the Jackets’ seven-run fifth inning that put them up 12-1.

From there, each team scored once more, and the Jackets took the game 13-2. Starting pitcher Ben Parr finished the game with a career-high nine strikeouts, giving up just one run through six innings and allowing only eight of the 26 batters he faced to reach base.

Head coach Danny Hall was happy with his team’s performance on Tuesday, calling attention to his starting pitcher and the number of quality at-bats he saw out of his lineup.

“[Parr] got outs when he needed them and it was a good quality start. He has done a tremendous job for us in the midweek,” Hall said. “I thought we had some good at-bats for a lot of different guys. They seem to be pretty much in control of their bats and that was good to see.”

Tech kicks off a three game series against Florida State tonight at Russ Chandler Stadium. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner and BCS National Champion Jameis Winston is expected to play for FSU in the series. The team will follow that with a mid-week matchup against Georgia.