THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball split its doubleheader against Northwestern to take the final home weekend series before ACC play begins.
The Yellow Jackets (7-4) locked up the series with a 9-2 win in the first game before the Wildcats (4-6) won out in a tough-luck pitching duel that went the other way.
Tech next plays in its second-straight home-and-home midweek series, starting at Kennesaw State on Tuesday, March 5 before hosting on March 6. The Jackets then head on the road to begin ACC play at Miami on March 8-10.
Game One: Georgia Tech 9, Northwestern 2
Georgia Tech continued its hot bats to back up left-handed starting pitcher Connor Thomas (1-1), who threw the second quality start of his season, allowing just two runs and six hits over seven innings, striking out six. Jonathan Hughes wasn’t eligible for the save but took care of business anyway, tossing a scoreless final two innings, fanning two.
The Jackets’ combined for 10 or more hits for the fourth-straight game, led by four players with multi-hit days. Austin Wilhite led all with a 2-for-3, 3 RBI outing before Kyle McCann hit his third home run of the series and seventh of 2019. Oscar Serratos and Nick Wilhite both contributed quality AB’s, recording two hits apiece.
Second baseman Luke Waddell broke the game wide open in the seventh when a failed dive in the outfield gave him a three-RBI double – the most for his career.
Northwestern’s starter, lefty Ryan Bader moved to 0-2 on the season, allowing three runs in 3.1 innings. The Wildcats used three relief pitchers with Michael Doherty throwing the most effectively at 1.1 innings and one run allowed.
At the plate, NU had three doubles on the day and were led by second baseman Shawn Goosenberg (2-for-4).
Game Two: Northwestern 5, Georgia Tech 1
Georgia Tech took a pitching duel well into the seventh, but would ultimately fall in the second doubleheader after a five-spot by Northwestern in the eighth.
The Yellow Jackets’ starter Brant Hurter tossed 7.0 scoreless, allowing just four hits and striking out a career-high 13 hitters. The Wildcats’ starter Quinn Lavelle (1-0) allowed just one run and six hit, striking out eight.
Both offenses were held quiet until the seventh, when Luke Waddell launched a double down the left-field line to plate Oscar Serratos, Tech’s lone run. For the game, Tristin English went 2-for-3 with a triple, while Serratos also recorded two hits.
Northwestern’s big fifth inning was initiated by back-to-back doubles by Anthony Calarco and Shawn Goosenberg. Overall, NU finished with three multi-hit players. Both Calarco and Goosenberg finished with two RBI.
In relief, Tech’s Keyton Gibson received the loss, moving him to 1-1 on the season. The Wildcats’ Nick Paciorek provided 1.1 innings of no-hit relief, striking out three.
- The Yellow Jackets recorded 10 or more hits in four-straight games for the first time since March 16-20, 2018 vs. Virginia Tech, Duke.
- Luke Waddell finished game one with a career-high three RBI.
- In game two, Brant Hurters’ 13 strikeouts are the most for any Yellow Jacket since Connor Thomas fanned 17 against Wake Forest in 2018. Hurter is the fourth Georgia Tech pitcher to strike out 13 or more hitters in the last 10 years – Deck McGuire (2009), Buck Farmer (2012, 2013), Thomas (2018) and Hurter (2019).
Head Coach Danny Hall Postgame Interview
Left-Handed Pitcher Connor Thomas
Left-Handed Pitcher Brant Hurter