Feb. 20, 2011
By Matt Winkeljohn
Part of Danny Hall’s philosophy paid off in Georgia Tech’s first series of the season, as the Yellow Jackets took two of three games from visiting Kent State.
Hall – and quite a few other college baseball coaches – believe that pitching will be all the more important with changes to the bat rules that have slowed down the game. The Tech coach said last week, “We’ve tried the last three or four years to really load up in pitching. I think maybe we’re in good position.”
The Jackets allowed just five earned runs in three games against a team that returns seven starters and two of four starting pitchers from a squad that won the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and went to the NCAA tournament.
There was a problem Sunday, though, when Tech’s only error, by freshman shortstop Matt Hyde, led to four unearned runs as the Flashes salvaged Game 3, 6-1.
That’s the other part of the equation: defense becomes even more critical, especially since the Jackets don’t really know yet what to expect out of their offense on a game-in, game-out basis.
“We have a very young team . . . and it’s hard for me to tell where we’re going to be offensively,” Hall said. “Teams aren’t going to just be able to stand in there and slug it out.”
That was surely the case over the weekend, when Kent State and Tech combined for a total of one home run in the three games. That was hit by KSU’s Travis Shaw Sunday.