Jackets Take 5-3 Season Opening Win Over BYU
Georgia Tech baseball won its 12th straight home opener on Friday
THE FLATS - The No. 21 Yellow Jackets got a solo shot from senior Ryan Peurifoy, a two-run blast from Kel Johnson and rode the right arm of freshman starter Xzavion Curry for a scoreless five innings to win their 12th straight home opener with a 5-3 victory over the BYU Cougars on Friday evening at Russ Chandler Stadium.
"Curry couldn't have thrown the ball any better. To get five innings and no runs, I thought was outstanding. It gave us a great boost to start the game," stated head coach Danny Hall. "The home run was good to us today. I felt like Peurifoy kind of got it started for us and then Kel Johnson, it's great to see him get off to a good start, hitting a two-run home run to give us some cushion. I'm really impressed with BYU. I felt like every pitcher that they ran out there was good, their left side of the infield made some really good plays and up and down their lineup they can really hit."
The first true freshman to start on the mound for the Yellow Jackets since Kris Wilson in 1995, Curry (1-0) threw five scoreless innings and struck out five to earn his first career win as a Yellow Jacket.
Zac Ryan (1) recorded his first save of the season and the 10th of his career, going 1.1 innings of scoreless ball and registering the last four outs of the game.
At the plate, Joey Bart was 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored, while Johnson was 1-for-3 with a two-run home run and three RBIs. Peurifoy was 1-for-4 with a solo home run, as five different Jackets all scored one run in the win.
For BYU, lead-off hitter Daniel Schneemann was 3-for-5, while Keaton Kringlen was 2-for-4 with a run scored.
Curry had a little help from a power offense, as Peurifoy sent the first pitch he saw of 2017 deep to dead center field in the bottom of the second to put the home team on the scoreboard first at 1-0.
BYU attempted to get the run back in the top of the third, as second baseman Brennon Anderson ripped a two-out double to right left field. Tanner Chauncey followed with a single through the left side of the infield and looked as if it was going to score Anderson from second when freshman outfielder Chase Murray threw a laser to Bart at home plate to nail Anderson on the play and in the inning.
Tech added two runs in the bottom of the third, with a little help from a BYU error, as Austin Wilhite scored from third on a failed pickoff attempt of Wade Bailey at second. After advancing to third on the BYU throwing error, Bailey scored on a Johnson sacrifice fly to right to put the Jackets on top at 3-0.
A Johnson two-run shot over the left field wall in the bottom of the fifth pushed the Yellow Jackets lead to 5-0 through five innings.
BYU spoiled the Jackets chance of pitching a shutout in the season opener, as first baseman Colton Shaver followed up a Kringlen infield single with a two-run shot to right center field to cut the Jackets' lead to three at 5-2.
The Cougars added a run in the top of the eighth on a two-out RBI single to center field off the bat of Kyle Dean to get to within two of Tech at 5-3, before Ryan came in and shut the door for the home team over the final 1.1 innings to preserve the win.
The two middle relievers of Jake Lee (1.0, 2 hits, 2 ER) and Jared Datoc (1.2, 3 hits, 1 ER) held the lead for the Jackets in the middle innings before handing the ball over tor Ryan with two outs in the eighth.
The Jackets (1-0) will be back in action tomorrow afternoon when they host the Marshall Thundering Herd (0-1) at 2 p.m. ET at Russ Chandler Stadium.
*Xzavion Curry became only the second true freshman to start on the mound opening day joining Kris Wilson who started opening day as a true freshman in 2015.
* The Yellow Jackets have now won 12 straight home openers and are 23-1 all-time in home openers under head coach Danny Hall (since 1994).
* Georgia Tech is now 1-0 all-time versus BYU on the baseball diamond.
* Zac Ryan recorded his 10th career save.
-- GeorgiaTech Baseball (@GTBaseball) February 18, 2017