Tech travelled up to Louisville this weekend to take on the Cardinals in a three-game weekend series. The Jackets got all they could handle against Louisville, falling in all three games.
The Jackets entered the weekend with a 17-7 overall record and 5-4 in ACC play. The Cardinals entered as the seventh ranked team in the country with a 18-7 record including an impressive 8-1 against ACC opponents.
Redshirt sophomore pitcher Jonathan King took the mound in game one for the Jackets. King would go 6.2 innings, giving up nine hits and four earned runs.
Shortstop Connor Justus provided the sole RBI for Tech in the game with a groundout that would bring designated hitter AJ Murray home. The Jackets went on to lose the game 4-1.
Louisville’s starting pitcher Kyle Funkhouser threw seven strong innings, only giving up one run and four hits.
“I see why everyone thinks Funkhouser’s going to be a first-round pick,” Tech head coach Danny Hall said, courtesy of ramblimwreck.com.
The Cardinals were able to jump out to an early lead with three runs in the fourth inning including an RBI single from shortstop Sutton Whiting.
Tech looked to turn it around in game two of the series. Cole Pitts took the mound for the Jackets but did not last long, giving up three runs to the Cardinals in the first inning and another two in the second.
Tech managed to bring three runs across the plate in the game, but the scores were not enough as Louisville went on to win the game 8-3.
Cardinals outfielder Corey Ray enjoyed a productive game at the plate with three hits and four runs batted in. Starting pitcher Brendan McKay threw seven innings for Louisville, giving up four hits, three runs and two walks.
Game three of the series was crucial for the Jackets to avoid being swept on the road by an ACC foe. Taking the mound for the Jackets was Brandon Gold. He pitched six innings in the game, surrendering only five hits and three runs.
Tech’s bats came to life in game three, recording eight hits compared to the Cardinals five. However, the Jackets struggled to capitalize on their opportunities, scoring only one run off of a Daniel Spingola RBI single.
Hall was disappointed with his team’s results over the weekend.
“You can’t spot a good team runs and expect to come back, especially a team like they have with good pitching,” Hall said, courtesy of ramblinwreck.com. “It felt like we had some chances to get back in it, but we couldn’t get that hit to score guys. Definitely a disappointing weekend, but we have a long way to go.”
The Jackets looked to turn around their misfortunes as they traveled up to Georgia to face the No. 21 Bulldogs.
Tech came to the plate swinging in the first inning, putting up three runs in the inning including a two-out, two RBI double hit by Connor Justus. Tech added another three in the second thanks to a monster home run from Matt Gonzalez.
Georgia would not let the game get out of hand though, scoring five runs of their own in the second to close the gap to 6-5.
Tech’s bullpen, including Matt Phillips, Tanner Shelton, Matthew Gorst and Joe Wiseman would come in and take care of the Bulldogs after their big third inning, surrendering only one run the rest of the game.
Tech would continue to pile on the runs, eventually totaling 13 and taking down in-state rival UGA 13-6.
The Jackets remain undefeated against in state rivals this season (4-0). Hall also improved his career record against Georgia to 43-32. He knew this was a big game for the Jackets.
“Anyone that understands college baseball knows this is a huge rivalry, so it’s big to get Game 1 here,” Hall said, courtesy of ramblinwreck.com.
Tech continues ACC play this weekend against the Virginia Cavaliers at home.