Feb. 13, 2015
Georgia Tech 17, St. John’s 3 (Atlanta, Ga. – Russ Chandler Stadium)
Spingola/CF, Smith/1B, Gonzalez/LF, Johnson/RF, Murray/DH, Justus/SS, Bailey/2B, Gold/3B, Pabst/C, King/P.
ST. JOHN’S STARTERS:
Caruso/CF, Dennis/DH, Donadio/LF, Mederos/SS, Harris/1B, Lauricella/RF, Sanchez/C, Knightes/3B, Blankmeyer/2B, McCormick/S.
Georgia Tech opened the 2015 season with a decisive 17-3 rout of St. John’s on Friday night at Russ Chandler. Junior lefty Jonathan King pitched five innings to get the win and was backed by a 19-hit attack that included home runs from Kel Johnson, Brandon Gold and Blake Jackson.
HOW IT HAPPENED
St. John’s pushed a run across in the top of the first, but Georgia Tech answered with a six-run, five-hit first inning, thanks to Gold’s first-career home run — a three-run blast to right.
A sacrifice fly from Matt Gonzalez and a Johnson RBI double made it 8-2 in the second inning.
Johnson’s two-run bomb to right field highlighted a five-run seventh inning and Jackson’s first career blast — a solo shot — was part of a four-run eighth inning that capped the scoring.
Making his second straight opening-day start but pitching for the first time since last March (shoulder), King tossed five innings to earn the victory.
King allowed three hits and three runs (two earned) with one walk and three strikeouts to win his ninth career game.
Sophomore Ben Schniederjans worked three innings of scoreless relief with two punchouts and rookie Patrick Wiseman closed the game with a scoreless ninth.
St. John’s did not have a runner advance past first base after the fourth inning.
The loss was pinned on SJU starter Ryan McCormick who allowed eight runs on seven hits in two innings of work.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Tech improved to 17-5 on Opening Day under head coach Danny Hall and has won seven straight at home at Opening Day.
Johnson’s four hits were the most by a Yellow Jacket in a season opener since at least 2000, and the most by a Jacket freshman on opening day since Derik Goffena had four versus UCLA in 1998.
Tech’s 17 runs were one shy of the program’s opening-day record of 18 versus Stetson in 1951 (an 18-7) and versus Cincinnati in 1921 (an 18-0 win).
The 17 runs were the most scored by the Jackets since a 17-6 win over Virginia in the 2012 ACC Tournament in Greensboro.
The three home runs were the most hit by the Yellow Jackets in a game since hitting four at Miami in 2013. Tech did not have a three-homer game last year.
Six different Jackets recorded multi-hit games — Johnson (4), senior Thomas Smith (3), sophomore Connor Justus (2), freshman Wade Bailey (2), Gold (2) and sophomore Arden Pabst (2).
Smith finished 3-for-4 and scored a career-high four runs.
The three-inning relief stint by Schniederjans was a career high.
Of Tech’s 19 hits — its most since 19 versus USF last season — seven went for extra bases.
“Certainly it was a good first inning offensively for us and I thought King and Schniederjans threw the ball well. A lot of different guys got hits so definitely a good way to start the season. The nice thing about scoring a lot of runs was that we got to get a lot of guys in the mix. It was great to see King back on the mound and he’s going to be a valuable part of what we’re doing here. He’s a great kid that works extremely hard and happy to see him back.” — head coach Danny Hall
“It felt great just to get out that and get this White and Gold on. It was an honor just to be in the lineup on Opening Day and get a win. Felt some jitters in my first at bat for sure, but took some deep breaths and after that I felt fine.” — freshman RF Kel Johnson
Georgia Tech hosts Fordham tomorrow in a doubleheader at Russ Chandler Stadium. First pitch is set for 12 p.m.