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Alums Gold, Esch Named to World Baseball Classic Rosters

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THE FLATS – Former Georgia Tech standouts Brandon Gold (Alpharetta, Ga./Johns Creek) and Jake Esch (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) were named members of World Baseball Classic teams for this year’s tournament, the WBC announced this week.

Gold joins 29 players from the Major and Minor Leagues on Team Israel, including two-time All-Star and former Atlanta Brave Joc Pederson, while Esch will join Great Britain’s inaugural World Baseball Classic team.

In 117 starts over 140 appearances in the Minor Leagues, Gold has worked to a 5.13 career ERA with 39 victories in 663.1 innings of work. The right-handed pitcher spent the last two years in Triple A with the Albuquerque Isotopes.

Selected in the 12th round by the Colorado Rockies in 2016, Gold was an impressive two-way talent for the Yellow Jackets that saw him earn All-Region in 2016 and multiple all-ACC selections. Gold started 100 games in his career, with 28 on the mound.

At the plate, the Alpharetta native worked to a .252 average with 76 hits, 17 doubles, two triples and three home runs for 35 RBI. On the mound, Gold pitched to 16 victories and a 2.83 career ERA, striking out 152 batters in 191.0 innings. His best year game as Georgia Tech’s ace in 2016, where he went 9-3 with a 2.48 ERA, surrendering just 29 earned runs in 105.1 innings.

Gold currently ranks seventh in program history in career ERA (2.83) and ninth in fewest walks per 9 innings (2.64).

Esch played in both the Marlins and the San Diego Padres organizations. From 2011-17, he made 140 appearances on the mound and 111 starts, recording a 4.10 ERA with 36 victories. Esch struck out 483 batters over 688 innings of work with four complete games in his career.  He made three starts for the Marlins in the Major Leagues, recording a 5.54 ERA over 13 innings and made one appearance for San Diego.

Esch was selected in the 11th round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Florida Marlins after a fine career in the White and Gold as a two-way player. In three years on The Flats, Esch hit .304 over 122 starts, recording 29 doubles, two triples and nine home runs for 79 RBI. For his career on the mound, he sported a 4.18 ERA with 20 relief appearances, striking out 25 batters in 23.2 innings of career work.

His best year came in 2011 when he finished with a .319 batting average and 1.80 ERA en route to being named a team captain and a semifinalist for the Brooks Wallace Award for nation’s top shortstop.

Successful on and off the field, Esch was named an Academic All-American in 2011. Esch also ranks tied for seventh in program history for doubles in a single season (23).

GEORGIA TECH BASEBALL TICKETS

Be there for all the heart-stopping action as Georgia Tech baseball looks to win its third ACC Coastal Title in four years! Opening Day is slated for Friday, Feb. 17 as the Yellow Jackets prepare to host more than 30 home games at Mac Nease Baseball Park at Russ Chandler Stadium – one of the country’s premier collegiate baseball venues. Fans currently have multiple options for securing their spot this year, including season tickets, six-game packages, Georgia Tech’s Flex Plan and single-game tickets. For more information on the 2023 season, click HERE!

Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

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