Who’s the Pack playing?
Opponent: Georgia Tech
Mascot: Bastards with wings | School Location: Atlanta, GA | Conference: ACC
2021 Record: 3-1 (0-0, T-1st) | 2020 RPI Rank: 110
2020 Record: 11-5 (2-1, T-2nd Coastal) | 2019 RPI Rank: 55
2019 Record: 43-19 (19-11, 1st Coastal) | 2018 RPI Rank: 12
When? Where? How do I watch?
Location: Doak Field at Dail Park (Raleigh, NC)
Game Time(s): Friday, Feb 26 @ 3:00pm | Saturday, Feb 27 @ 2:00pm | Sunday, Feb 28 @ 1:00pm
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Tell me about this team
Georgia Tech has been an incredibly solid program under Danny Hall for over 25 years now (this is his 28th year to be exact). Hall has the most wins of any coach in GT history, has taken the team to Omaha three times, has won the ACC Tournament five times, and the ACC regular season title outright four times and the division title another two times. Seriously, he’s a damn good coach.
This team is not far off the standard he’s set. Despite losing a couple hitters to last year’s draft and one of the team’s starting pitchers, the talent is just very good and has a great blend of youth and experience. The last two recruiting classes have the program set up very well for the next few years.
This isn’t an offense that’s going to push the issue on the bases to try and create havoc, but they’re going to play very smart, fundamental baseball. The pitching staff is going to pound the zone - the emphasis there explains why the coaching staff moved two of last year’s starters to the bullpen - and the defense is going to be solid behind them. All told, this is a tough shake of an conference opener for State.
GT opened the season last weekend taking two of three from a good-not-great Eastern Kentucky team, and then they beat an always strong Mercer team, 7-3, on Wednesday.
Who’s on the mound for these guys?
Friday: LHP Brant Hurter (JR)
Saturday: RHP Andy Archer (rJR)
Sunday: LHP Sam Crawford (rSO)
3B Drew Compton (FR) - .583/.688/1.083, 2 HR, 4 R, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K. Second year true freshman who earned 2020 Freshman All-America honors (.321/.420/.589, 4 2B, 3 HR). Good built with an explosive bat. Better athleticism than you’d expect from a guy who has never attempted a stolen base in college.
SS Luke Waddell (JR) - .412/.500/.647, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K. Leadoff hitter who has had an outstanding career thus far. Not a lot of pop in the bat, but a career 62:46 BB:K ratio speaks volumes. Should be a high draft pick this year, although he’s committed four errors already this year.
DH/OF Stephen Reid (FR) - .375/.444/.813, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K. Second year true freshman. Another guy who surprisingly hasn’t attempted a stolen base despite very good athleticism. Power bat with 7 HR in 60 career ABs. Earned Freshman All-American honors last year.
C Kevin Parada (FR) - .556/.636/1.000, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K. True freshman and one of the stars of GTs 14th ranked 2020 recruiting class. Right-handed hitter with a lot of pop in his bat. Potential future high draft pick.
LHP Brant Hurter (JR) - 0-0, 1.93 ERA, 4.2 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K. Has 21 career starts to his credit heading into this weekend, but last weekend was his first start since the 2019 season, which was cut short due to TJS. Big 6’6, 250 lbs kid with a low 90’s fastball with a curve and change to mix in.
RHP Andy Archer (rJR) - 0-1, 3.00 ERA, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K. Has been exclusively a reliever to this point in his career, including serving as the team’s closer in 2020 (0-0, 2 SV, 4.22 ERA, 10.2 IP, 10 H, 5 BB, 16 K). Has a low-to-mid 90’s fastball with a
LHP Sam Crawford (rSO) - 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K. A Raleigh kid who went to high school at St. David’s School. Another bullpen arm from a year ago (2-0, 1.86 ERA, 9.2 IP, 6 H, 6 BB, 14 K). Was very efficient last Sunday, throwing just 68 pitches over his 6.0 IP.
LHP Luke Bartnicki (SO) - 0-0, 1 SV, 0.00 ERA, 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 4 K. A starter a year ago (0-0, 1.76 ERA, 15.1 IP, 7 H, 9 BB, 17 K), has moved to the bullpen to maximize his stuff. Was an incredibly highly regarded prospect out of high school. Mid 90’s fastball and very good slider.
LHP Dalton Smith (FR) - 0-0, 18.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 2 K. A rough start to 2021, but was a big part of the bullpen a year ago (3-0, 1.46 ERA, 12.1 IP, 10 H, 6 BB, 14 K) and will continue to be this year. Yet another who earned Freshman All-America honors last year.
RHP Hugh Chapman (JR) - 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K. Along with Smith, Archer, and Crawford, Chapman was one of the key relievers for GT a year ago (1-0, 2.25 ERA, 8.0 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 12 K). He steps into a bigger role with two of those guys now in the starting rotation.
LHP Joseph Mannelly (rSO) - 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 7 K. Has battled injuries pretty much his entire GT career, but appears to be healthy now and had a pair of great showings to start off the year.
Quick! Fun Facts!
The Yellow Jackets have a freshman pitcher by the name of Marquis Grissom, Jr. One guess who his father is.
Crawford is the only player on GT’s roster who will be making a trip to his home state for this series.
Georgia Tech holds the all-time series lead with a record of 58-75.
Tuesday certainly didn’t do anything to build confidence, but the bats stayed hot and that’s important. If there’s one area where Georgia Tech is a bit of a question mark it’s in the starting rotation.
Georgia Tech is a talented team that will likely be close to the level they were at in 2019. Winning this series would be huge for State, but won’t be easy by any stretch.
Outcome: State’s hitters stay hot, but the pitching staff has to turn to the bullpen too often and that proves costly. GT takes two out of three.