THE FLATS – In Georgia Tech baseball’s first exhibition of the fall, the Yellow Jackets were unable to come back from an early deficit, falling to South Carolina, 14-10, on Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Both teams combined for 27 hits in the predetermined 14-inning game. Neither team had a pitcher throw for more than 2.0 innings, however, Georgia Tech led with 20 strikeouts.
South Carolina got out to a quick start, taking an 8-1 lead through three innings, thanks largely to a couple defensive miscues that the Gamecocks were able to capitalize on. The Yellow Jackets, however, were able to hold South Carolina to just one run over the next seven innings to stage a comeback.
After an early run in the first – a Tristin English RBI through the left side that brought Oscar Serratos home – Tech was able to score two in the fourth, both off a Nick Wilhite shot to right center that plated brother Austin Wilhite and sophomore Colin Hall.
The fifth through eighth innings is where both team’s pitchers began to find a grove as neither team was able to put up a run.
Junior N. Wilhite once again sparked the offense, doubling down the left-field line to line up an RBI single for Jamie Taylor, who rocketed one to the left center gap. Paxton Rigby then doubled to left center before Micah Carpenter sent an RBI single to third base. Rigby would then score after freshman Charlie Benson drew a bases-loaded walk.
The final run was scored when the Gamecocks’ second basemen committed a fielding error that allowed a hard-running freshman Carter Tally to reach first and Carpenter to reach home.
The Yellow Jackets would add three more runs over the final three innings, but a four-spot in the top of the 13th put the game just out of reach.
During the final stretch, sophomore Cole Neuber was able to score off two passed balls in the 12th and 14th while Rigby made it home in the final inning on a wild pitch.
Both teams had fine pitching in the unorthodox style of the scrimmage, but Georgia Tech looked especially impressive throughout.
Leading with four strikeouts a piece was juniors Xzavion Curry and Connor Thomas, who both pitched two innings to start the game. Junior transfer Amos Willingham was the other Jacket to throw 2.0, punching out three batters and only allowing one hit during his outing. Freshman Walker Barlow allowed an unearned run in his 1.0 inning of work, but struck out all three of the outs needed.
In all, six pitchers recorded two or more strikeouts on the day and nine of the 12 pitchers allowed one or less hits for the game.
Georgia Tech baseball will return for its final preseason exhibition on Saturday, Oct. 27 as the Yellow Jackets take on Chattahoochee Valley Community College. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.