Baseball beats Mercer, sweeps NC State

Drew Compton (25) and Jake Deleo (center) have been two of Tech’s young stars, helping the team along with Colin Hall (5) to a 6-1 start. // Photo courtesy of GTAA

Last week saw Tech baseball securing a win against Mercer and sweeping a three-game stint against NC State, their first sweep on the road since 2011. The rout, which puts Tech at 3-0 in conference play on the season, was led by freshman sensation Kevin Prada, who went 10-16 at the plate over the past week.

The catcher has found himself leading freshmen nationally with at least 20 at-bats in hitting, with his most recent performances earning him ACC Player of the Week.

Prada started off the week going 4-4 for four RBIs in Tech’s game against Mercer and Stephen Reid added a home run.

Tech pitchers tossed five no-hit innings as Cord Roedig started off the game with three shutout innings before Joseph Mannelly pitched the next two.

The performance was enough to give the team a 7-3 victory, improving their record to 3-1 as they headed into the series with NC State.

The series began with a strong performance by pitcher Bryan Hunter, starting off the first six innings with no walks and two hits. Kevin Prada went 4-4 at plate, beginning his week having gone 8-8.

Also contributing was Justyn-Henry Malloy, who had a three RBI game. The trio’s performance helped to push Tech over the top, securing a 9-2 win for the Jackets.

Game 2 of the series started off closer but was sealed in the seventh inning with a three-run home run hit by Luke Waddell, another home run hit by Justyn-Henry Malloy, and a third hit by freshman Kevin Prada.

Pitchers Andy Archer and Jackson Finley combined for 16 strikeouts, helping put Tech over the top with an 8-3 victory.

The final game of the series saw Tech end the first inning with a four-run lead, a margin they were able to hold for the rest of the game.

Drew Compton, at bat with two outs, secured a two run RBI and was brought home himself by Colin Hall.

With the lead having shrunk to three in the previous inning, Justin-Henry-Malloy drove in another run, giving Tech the comfortable four run lead back.

With a four-game winning streak, Tech looks to build momentum with a competitive and young team as they begin the season.

The ACC start was the best for Tech since 2011, when they went 3-0 against Miami. The wins put Tech at number 12 nationally, moving up from 15 the previous week and improving their overall record to 6-1.

Tech will face off this weekend with top-ten ranked Louisville in what could be their toughest opponent of the season. The Cardinals are widely believed to be contenders for the top spot in the ACC this season. The series offers Tech the opportunity to showcase its new talent and returning experience in a three game tilt that will be at Russ Chandler, the home stadium for Tech.