Feb. 18, 2017
THE FLATS — The No. 21 Yellow Jackets swarmed Marshall in the second inning, hitting three straight home runs back-to-back-to-back to post seven runs in the at bat and take a demanding lead early in an 11-3 home win over the Thundering Herd on Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.
“It was a huge inning — three home runs in a row. I can’t remember the last time that happened, maybe it hasn’t ever happened since I’ve been here,” stated head coach Danny Hall. “It was good to see everybody kind of break out with great swings with all three of those guys. It was great to get a lot of guys in there playing and great to get a lot of pitchers on the mound for the first time this year. So it was a good win.”
The bats were working for the Jackets in gold on Saturday, as four different players tallied multiple hits in the blowout win. All nine starters in the lineup recorded a hit for Coach Hall’s squad in the victory.
Wade Bailey was 3-for-4 with a double, two walks, three RBIs and two runs scored in the leadoff spot, while Trevor Craport was 2-for-6 with a home run, a double, four RBIs and a run scored behind him at No. 2 in the lineup.
Joey Bart and Kel Johnson were both 1-for-4 with a solo home run, both of which came in the second inning, while freshmenChase Murray (2-for-3, 2 runs) and Austin Wilhite (3-for-3, 2 RBIs, 2 runs) were a big boost to the bottom half of the lineup.
Marshall, who did not score until the top of the ninth, had six different players with one hit each in the contest highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of left fielder Damian Rodriguez.
Making his first start on the mound since March 20 of last season, redshirt-freshman Jonathan Hughes struck out a career-high seven hitters over four scoreless innings of work.
Senior lefty Ben Parr (1-0) picked up the win pitching a perfect fifth inning, while Jay Shadday (1.0, 0 runs),Ben Schniederjans (1.0, 1 hit, 0 runs),Robert Winborne (1.0, 0 runs) and Bailey Combs (1.0, 3 hits, 3 runs) finished the final four innings of play in the win.
Tech exploded in the bottom half of the second inning to break the game open early, as designated hitter Kyle McCann reached base safely with one out on a throwing error by the pitcher.
Following a fly out to right field for the second out of the inning, Murray and Austin Wilhite lined back-to-back singles with Wilhite’s plating McCann from second to put the home team on the scoreboard first at 1-0.
With the top of the order to follow, Bailey launched a double to right center field to score both Murray and Wilhite to increase the Jackets’ lead to 3-0.
With two outs and Bailey on second, Craport would hit the first of three straight home runs by the Jackets (Craport, Bart and Johnson) for four more runs to give the home team a 7-0 lead through just two innings of play.
Tech added two more runs in the third on a two-run double by Craport and another two in the fourth by way of a back-to-back two-out RBI singles from Austin Wilhite and Bailey to push the lead to 11-0 after four.
Marshall threatened in the top of the third when Sam Finfer singled to center field with a man on first and tried to advance to second base. Senior centerfielder Ryan Peurifoy made a heads up play and threw back to second base to a waiting Bailey who applied the tag on Finfer for the out and killed the momentum of the Herd in the inning.
The Herd spoiled the shutout for the Jackets in the top of the ninth, as Rodriguez doubled to left center field to score pinch hitters Will Ray and Billy Sager who reached base on a walk and a single to start off the inning.
Marshall’s Andrew Zban followed with an RBI double of his own to drive in Rodriguez for the Herd’s third run of the game.
The Jackets (2-0) will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they host Western Michigan at 12 p.m. ET at Russ Chandler Stadium.
* Tech’s three straight home runs in the bottom of the second inning was the first time that the Jackets have had three straight home runs in a game since March 13, 2012 when Jake Davies, Sam Dove and Paul Kronenfeld hit back-to-back-to-back home runs in the first inning in the win over Wagner.
* The last time Tech had three home runs in the same game was in the first round of the ACC Tournament versus Boston College last year on May 24.
* All nine hitters in the starting lineup recorded a hit in the win on Saturday.
* Jonathan Hughes recorded a career-high seven strikeouts over his four innings of work.
* Ben Schniederjans returned to the mound for the first time after missing all of last year and most of 2015 with an injury.
* Kel Johnson has now homered in each of the first two games this season.
* Georgia Tech moves to 1-0 all-time versus the Marshall Thundering Herd.
— GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) February 18, 2017