Clean Weekend Sweep: No. 21 Baseball Beats VCU, 9-1
Matt Gonzalez, Trevor Craport each drove in three runs
The win completed a three-game weekend sweep of Tech's Atlanta Challenge opponents (Purdue, Western Michigan and VCU). During the season-opening weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium, the Jackets (3-0) scored 27 runs on 45 hits in three games.
VCU - James Bunn LF, Matt Davis SS, Logan Farrar CF, Darian Carpenter 1B, Brett Hileman C, Jimmy Kerrigan RF, Cody Acker DH, Mitchel Lacey 3B, Brody Cook 2B, Matt Oxner P
Georgia Tech is now 5-1 all-time vs. VCU.
Tech improved to 156-48 all-time in the month of February under head coach Danny Hall.
Tech has now won 14 straight nonconference home games (last nonconference home loss was Feb. 14, 2015, vs. Fordham).
Freshman Jonathan Hughes made his career-first start Sunday, becoming the first GT freshman starting pitcher since May 22, 2014, when LHP Ben Parr faced Duke in the ACC Tournament.
Georgia Tech is 854-251-1 all-time at Russ Chandler Stadium (since 1985).
HOW IT HAPPENED
VCU and Georgia Tech exchanged runs in the 2nd. VCU's Brett Hileman scored an unearned run on a fielding error by 1B Tristin English. In Tech's half of the inning, Arden Pabst drilled an RBI single to left, scoring the tying run with Connor Justus.
Georgia Tech added three runs in the third to pull away. Matt Gonzalez sent a towering RBI double off the wall in left center to score Wade Bailey. Kel Johnson then plated Gonzalez on an RBI single through the left side. Johnson scored the third run of the inning thanks to Trevor Craport's RBI single to center.
Pabst's solo home run in the sixth put the Jackets up 5-1.
Tech added two more runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Craport plated two with a double down the right field line. Gonzalez capped Tech's scoring with a two-RBI single to left field.
"It was a great way to start (the season). We pitched well all weekend which I was very encouraged by. The thing that impressed me with Jonathan Hughes today was we made a couple of errors, but I thought he picked up his teammates by overcoming those errors and pitching really well. I thought as the weekend went on, we continued to swing the bats really well." - Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall on the win
"It was fantastic. It was really surreal. One of the best experiences I've had in my life. I was excited to get the season started with my first outing. That was the fun part." - Georgia Tech winning pitcher Jonathan Hughes on his first career start
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Freshman Jonathan Hughes went 6.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits with one walk and one strikeout.
Ben Parr, Micah Carpenter and Matthew Gorst combined to allow two hits in 3.0 innings of scoreless relief.
Freshman Tristin English recorded the first two doubles of his career.
Sophomore Trevor Craport notched his first career double, while driving in a career-high three RBIs.
Connor Justus swiped a career-best two stolen bases, becoming the first Yellow Jacket with 2+ stolen bases in a game since March 15, 2015, when Daniel Spingola had two at Duke.
Wade Bailey tied a career high with two stolen bases.
Arden Pabst hit his third career home run. He's hit a homer in each of his three seasons on The Flats.
No. 21 Georgia Tech will make its first midweek road trip of the year at 6 p.m. Wednesday when the Yellow Jackets face Georgia Southern. Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 or listen live on WREK 91.1 FM.