Feb. 20, 2018
STATESBORO, Ga. — Georgia Tech baseball used a career night from sophomore starter Connor Thomas and got two RBIs apiece from catcher Joey Bart and third baseman Luke Waddell to record a 7-1 road win over Georgia Southern at J.I. Clements Stadium in Statesboro, Ga.
The win is the eighth-straight for the Jackets over the Eagles and bumps Tech back up to 2-2 on the young season. The loss drops the Eagles to 1-3 on the year.
Thomas (1-0) recorded his first career win as a Jacket on Tuesday night, as the sophomore allowed only one run over a career-long 7.0 innings pitched with a career-high six strikeouts. His lone walk came in the first inning.
Seven total hitters recorded a hit for the Jackets led by sophomores Austin Wilhite (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 runs, BB) and Chase Murray (2-for-3, 2 BB) who both had two had two hits apiece, while Bart (1-for-5, HR, 2 RBIs) and Waddell (1-for-4, 2 RBIs) drove in two RBIs each. Freshman outfielder Colin Hall (1-for-2, 3B, BB, HBP, RBI, two runs) reached base safely three times and scored two runs in the win.
Georgia Southern’s Jacob Parker (0-1) suffered the loss, as the redshirt freshman allowed two runs on three hits before leaving the game in the top of the second with an apparent arm injury.
The Eagles offense mustered up only five hits, as Mason McWhorter was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Steven Curry (1-for-4, run), Mitchell Golden (1-for-4) and Matt Anderson (1-for-3) combined to record the other three hits.
Tech struck first in the top of the second, as Austin Wilhite started the inning off with a ground rule double down the left field line. Hall followed with an opposite field triple off the glove of the left fielder to score Austin Wilhite and put the Jackets up 1-0.
After an injury to the starting pitcher and the entry of a new pitcher out of the bullpen for the Eagles, a passed ball allowed Hall to motor in from third to double up the Jackets’ lead at 2-0 midway through the second inning.
While Thomas cruised through the first four innings, allowing just three base runners on a walk and two base hits, the Jackets added a run in the top of the fourth with the help of four walks, a sacrifice bunt and a balk, then plated two more runs in the fifth on a two-run single to right field by Waddell to take a 5-0 lead midway through the fifth.
Sophomore outfielder Nick Wilhite made a great leaping catch that sent his body flailing off the right center field wall and to the ground in the bottom of the fifth to rob the Eagles of an extra base hit and help Thomas pitch a clean 1-2-3 inning to send the game to the sixth with the Yellow Jackets in front at 5-0.
The Eagles broke up the Jackets’ shutout bid in the bottom of the sixth, as a lead-off single, a double and a ground out to second base pushed across one run for the home team to cut the Tech lead to four at 5-1 after six complete.
Thomas pitched around an error in the seventh and then after Bart blasted a two-run home run in the eighth, junior hurler Keyton Gibson pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to help preserve the 7-1 road win for the Jackets.
Thomas and Gibson combined to record eight strikeouts and issue just one walk in the contest.
The Yellow Jackets (2-2) return home to open up a seven-game homestand this weekend with a three-game non-conference series versus the Dartmouth Big Green. Game one of the three-game series is Friday at 4 p.m.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) February 21, 2018
Nick Wilhite’s catch at the wall comes in at No. 3 on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays