March 5, 2016
THE FLATS –Georgia Tech’s 1-4 hitters went 10-for-16 with five extra-base hits and 11 RBI as the 13th-ranked Yellow Jackets crushed Western Carolina 14-3 on Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Junior shortstop Connor Justus tied a school record with two triples, becoming the 17th Yellow Jacket to reach the milestone. Justus also batted in three runs, finishing the day 3-for-5. Matt Gonzalez went a perfect 3-for-3 with a solo home run, while Kel Johnson went 2-for-3 with a 3-run home run.
Georgia Tech (10-0) became the fourth NCAA Division I baseball team to start the 2016 season with a 10-0 mark. The Jackets have now won 10 straight home games, their longest home win streak since 2011. The Jackets have now won 20 straight nonconference home games and are 10-0 for the first time since 2006.
Western Carolina – Garrett Brown CF, Brett Pope SS, Danny Bermudez C, Matt Smith DH, Kramer Ferrell LF, Bryson Bowman RF, Jason Smith 1B, Caleb Robinson 3B, J.D. Long 2B, Bryan Sammons P
• Tech scored 10+ runs for the third time in 2016.
• Georgia Tech is 10-0 for the first time since 2006 (started 16-0).
• The Yellow Jackets extended their home win streak to 10 games, their longest home win streak since 2011 (11 games).
• Tech has now won 20 straight nonconference home games.
• Danny Hall posted his 1,141st career victory and 933rd at Georgia Tech.
• Tech is now 296-100 all-time in the month of March under Hall.
• Georgia Tech is 860-251-1 all-time at Russ Chandler Stadium (since 1985).
HOW IT HAPPENED
• Western Carolina opened the scoring in the first to take a 2-0 lead. Danny Bermudez plated the first run on an RBI single to left field. Brett Pope later scored on a double play groundout.
• Tech took the lead for good in the bottom of the first. Connor Justus drilled the first of his two triples down the right field line. After a Matt Gonzalez walk, Kel Johnson crushed a 2-2 pitch over the right-center wall for a 3-2 Tech lead.
• The Jackets took a 4-2 lead on Keenan Innis’ RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second.
• Two more runs came across in the fourth for the Jackets. Joey Bart plated Trevor Craport on an RBI double to left-center. Two batters later, Bart scored on Wade Bailey’s RBI single through the left side for a 6-2 lead.
• Georgia Tech made it a 7-2 game in the fifth on Matt Gonzalez’s solo home run to right-center.
• Western Carolina plated its third and final run of the afternoon on Garrett Brown’s RBI single.
• Tech pushed across four more runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh. In the sixth, Justus scored three runs on his second triple of the day – this time to right-center field. Justus later scored on Gonzalez’s RBI sac fly.
• In the seventh, Carter Hall registered his career-first hit with an RBI single up the middle. Grant Wruble delivered a pint-hit 2-RBI single to left-center for the decisive 14-3 margin.
“You know, we got down early, but Kel Johnson’s home run was big for us in the first. After that, I thought Keyton Gibson settled down. Our bullpen after that was good. We had a lot of hits up and down the order. Matt (Gonzalez) and CJ had great at bats. Kel continues to hit the ball well and we had some other young guys contribute, too. It was a great day for us.” – Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall on the Jackets’ offensive performance Saturday
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
• Georgia Tech went with its 10th different lineup this season.
• The Jackets’ 1-4 hitters went 10-for-16 with one double, two triples, two home runs and 11 RBI.
• Connor Justus registered the Jackets’ first two triples of the season. He tied a school record with two triples in the game, becoming the first Tech player since Kyle Wren vs. Kent State in 2012.
• Kel Johnson’s 3-run home run in the first was his second of the season and 12th of his career.
• Freshman RHP Keyton Gibson made his second career start Saturday. Gibson lasted 2.0 innings, allowing two runs on five hits.
• Matt Gonzalez’s solo homer in the fifth was his second of the season and 11th of his career.
• Wade Bailey extended his hit streak to 10 games, one shy of his career best.
• Justus posted his team-best seventh multi-hit game of the season and his first multi-RBI game of the season.
• Carter Hall made his first career plate appearance, recording his career first hit and RBI.
No. 13 Georgia Tech concludes its weekend series at 1 p.m. Sunday with Western Carolina. Fans can watch the game live on RamblinWreck.com or listen to WREK 91.1 FM.