Feb. 28, 2017
THE FLATS – No. 17 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets again used some early game hitting to jump out to an early lead in the 12-5 win over the visiting Georgia State Panthers on Tuesday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Jackets scored a total of eight runs over their first three innings on Tuesday to roll to the 12-5 home win and improve to 7-1 on the season.
The duo of Kel Johnson (2-for-3, HR, 2B, SF, 5 RBIs) and Joey Bart (2-for-4, HR, 4 RBIs) combined to drive in nine of the Jackets’ 12 runs on the game, while the top of the order in Wade Bailey (2-for-5, 2B, BB, RBI, 4 runs) and Trevor Craport (1-for-4, RBI) combined to score half of those 12 runs.
Austin Wilhite continues to swing a hot bat to start 2017, as the freshman was 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Brandt Stallings (1-for-4, HR) belted his second home run of the season in the Tech victory.
The win went to Jared Datoc (3-0), as the junior was superb out of the bullpen for the Jackets, striking out a career-high six batters in 3.0 innings of scoreless work.
Datoc took over for starter Ben Parr who threw a total of 64 pitches over 3.0 innings. The senior gave up two runs on two hits, walked three and struck out four in his second start of the season.
Four of the Panthers’ five total hits were home runs, as Will Kilgore hit a two-run shot, while fellow teammates Romero Greer, Ryan Blanton and pinch hitter Terrell Frazier all had solo home runs in the game.
The Yellow Jackets again struck first in the bottom half of the first inning. Bailey drew a four-pitch walk to lead off the inning, before Craport was hit in the back by a pitch to put runners on first and second with no outs.
Two pitches later Bart hit a monster shot to deep center field to put the Jackets in front at 3-0 just three batters into the Tech lineup.
Not to be outdone, Johnson matched Bart with another home run to center field to go back-to-back for the Jackets and put the home team on top 4-0 after just one inning.
The home runs continued in the top of the second however, as Georgia State’s Romero and Blanton hit back-to-back solo home runs to cut the Jacket’s lead in half at 4-2.
Tech got one run back in the bottom half of the second on a double by Bailey and an RBI single from Craport and then extended its lead with three more runs in the third on a Stallings solo home run, an infield RBI single by Bart and an RBI fielder’s choice by Johnson to take an 8-2 lead into the fourth.
That’s when Datoc took over, striking out six of the 10 batters he faced and keeping the Panthers off the base paths during his three innings on the mound.
The home team added two runs in the fifth on an RBI double from Bailey and a sacrifice fly from Johnson, and then two more runs in the seventh on a two-run double into the left field corner by Johnson to push across 12 runs on the night.
Georgia State picked up a pinch hit solo home run from Frazier in the seventh and then a two-run shot from Kilgore in the ninth, yet Tech held on for the 12-5 midweek home win.
The Jackets (7-1) return home to host Kennesaw State tomorrow night, Mar. 1, at 6 p.m. ET.
* Tech improves to 7-1 overall on the season and 5-1 at home.
* The Yellow Jackets are now 2-0 on the season versus in-state teams with wins over Georgia Southern (Feb. 21) and Georgia State (Feb. 28).
* Georgia Tech has now won eight straight over the Panthers of Georgia State.
* Tech has outscored their opponents 48-11 over the first three innings thus far this season.
* The Yellow Jackets have posted 17 home runs overall on the season as a team.
* Junior Kel Johnson matched his career-high with five RBIs in the win on Tuesday.
* Kel Johnson hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season in the win.
* Junior hurler Jared Datoc set a new career high with six strikeouts versus the Panthers.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) March 1, 2017