Baseball Concludes Season at ACC Tournament

Junior Outfielder Stephen Reid was named to this year’s All-ACC First Team after a career high season for him. // Photo courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletic Association

Coming off a huge series victory over the then tenth ranked Duke Blue Devils in Durham, Tech Baseball proceeded to lose every game that followed.

The team traveled to Macon to take on Mercer, where they lost 7-6 in 6 innings in a game that ended early due to severe weather conditions. Tech was mounting a comeback when the game was called, so arguably the Jackets may have taken this one had it been played out. However, the game brought the team’s pitching struggles back on display, struggles that did not show as heavily in the series against Duke. 

The pitching woes continued into the following weekend as Tech hosted 21st-ranked Virginia for the last series of the season. The team went down 6-3 after three innings, and it did not get better from there, as the Cavaliers took the first game 12-5. Tech looked to be on a better track in the second game as the team entered the seventh inning up 5-4, but after three runs in the top of the seventh, Virginia snatched the lead for good as they also took game two and the series 10-6. 

The Jackets looked to stop the sweep entering game three but were unable to do so. Tech rallied in this game, trading blow for blow with the Cavaliers and entered the ninth inning down 8-6. The Jackets put a run in to pull it to 8-7 and got to a point where bases were loaded with just one out. Tech was unable to get the clutch hit that would have propelled them ahead in the situation and fell short 8-7 on a day that looked to be going their way.   

Nonetheless, the team secured a bid to the ACC Tournament and looked to turn around their luck from the Virginia series. Coming in as the 11th seed, the team would face off against 7th seed North Carolina and 2nd seed Virginia to try to advance through the group stage of the tournament. 

Before arriving in Durham for the tournament, five players received All-ACC recognition for the season. Junior Stephen Reid was named to the All-ACC first team while junior Jake DeLeo, senior Angelo Dispignia and redshirt sophomore Jackson Finley received All-ACC second team accolades. Additionally, redshirt freshman Kristian Campbell was given All-ACC third team recognition. Five players was the fourth-highest amount of accolades given to any of the ACC teams for the season. 

With the extra motivation, the Jackets looked to take down North Carolina, a team they had beaten before this year, in their first matchup of the tournament. However, the Jackets started on poor footing, going down 4-0 after three innings. With an attempt at a comeback, Tech got the game to 4-2 in the top of the sixth, but the Tar Heels responded with a three-run inning that put the game out of reach for the Jackets. The North Carolina batting found ways to beat Tech’s pitching, and the Jackets fell 11-5 and now needed a win against a team they got swept by. 

The Jackets started well, keeping Virginia at bay early and sticking in a 3-0 deficit after four innings. However, the Cavaliers had an onslaught in the top of the fifth where they brought home eight runs, putting them up 11-0. The game was all but over, and the Jackets were run-ruled to end the season in a 15-1 whipping that took just seven innings. Although not Tech’s ideal way to go out on the year, the season was average as the team produced a 30-27 overall record, 23 of those wins happening at home, with a 12-18 ACC record.

After the average season, many fans speculated this could be Danny Hall’s last season with the Jackets, but he has since announced that he will remain at Tech. Hall was quick to fire pitching coach Danny Borrell after the season. Since Borrell arrived at Tech in 2019, the Jackets have had the worst pitching statistically in the ACC. Although pitching was not the only struggle for the team this season, it remained the foremost reason Tech would lose games. Borrell’s departure provides optimism for the coming season and a potential return to the NCAA Tournament for the Jackets.