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Virginia Tech Hokie Baseball Preview: Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

A quick preview of the Virginia Tech vs Georgia Tech series that starts later this afternoon. The Jackets are ranked #22, but are taking the Russ Chandler Stadium field with a four game skid happening. Both teams are looking to stop their slides and recover needed ground in the ACC.

Peter Aiken/Getty Images

The Hokies own a 1-2 record in the ACC courtesy of Miami.  After jumping on a first game win, Tech played a close 2nd game for a loss, and then a flat tire on the bat delivery truck sealed their fate in the last game of that opening series in Blacksburg.  Tech unfortunately followed up with a complete pitching meltdown where almost every Liberty Flame, including the Mascot got solid contact.  Even with the respectable offensive 7 runs, no one overcomes 22.

The Hokies head out on an ACC road trip after an 11 game home stand, with a 10-8 record.  The big problem is that they are rolling into Atlanta to pay a visit to ACC rival Georgia Tech.  The Rambling Wrecks are a potential baseball wrecking ball at the present time.  The Jackets are ranked 22nd; but there might be a chance for the Hokies to take a few from the them.  Though ranked, Georgia Tech is suffering a worse losing streak than the Hokies.

Florida State put some serious mustard on the field in Tallahassee.  The Seminoles swept the Jackets in a solid series where FSU scored a total of 30 runs to the Jackets 14.  The Ides of March weren't kind to the Jackets against Auburn, either.  While we were suffering through being on the short side of a football score, there was a cry of "War Eagle!!!" over Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta.  Auburn came to visit with some vengeance in their hearts and some bats in their trunk.  The Yellow Jackets lost by their own 14 - 3 football score.

The series match-up between the ACC baseball Techs has not been a happy one for the Hokie side of things.  Since we have started playing them regularly, Virginia Tech is on the short side of a 15-26 record.  What is interesting is that we have half as many wins as loses at home AND away with the Jackets, and the team is 2-4 with Pat Mason as the Skipper.

Virginia Tech's pitching rotation for the series looks like:

VIRGINIA TECH (10-8, 1-2)

Friday SP: LHP Packy Naughton (2-1, 3.91 ERA, 26 K, 6 BB)
Saturday SP
: LHP Kit Scheetz (3-0, 2.19 ERA, 17 K, 7 BB)
Sunday SP
: LHP Jon Woodcock (1-3, 4.91 ERA, 15 K, 9 BB)

Naughton and Sheetz are pitching fairly well, though Naughton had a rough patch loss that dinged his ERA.  Jon Woodcock is better than his record and numbers are showing, but he's going to have to keep himself in control and keep his pitch count rational.

Georgia Tech is bringing a rotation with 2 sub 3.00 ERA pitchers and a new right hander, Zac Ryan.

Friday SP:
RHP Brandon Gold (1-1, 2.25 ERA, 22 K, 7 BB)
Saturday SP: RHP Zac Ryan (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 K, 1 BB)
Sunday SP: RHP Jonathan Hughes (3-1, 2.49 ERA, 9 K, 6 BB)

Georgia Tech is worried about excessive errors in the field.   Virginia Tech should be concerned about their starting pitching and their streaky hitting.

It’s important to remember that Georgia Tech might be ranked, but it’s a beatable team.  Just as Auburn.  They are sitting on a split with the Jackets.   If the Hokies can bring their A stuff, like against Miami in Game 1, Virginia Tech can absolutely win against Georgia Tech.

Can they win the series?  They need to.  We need to win every ACC series to have a chance to step out of the shadows.  It’s time for us to be great!