Georgia Tech sweeps Wright State to open 2022 baseball season

On its season-opening series, Georgia Tech showed off the offensive weaponry that has made the Yellow Jackets a preseason top-25 team and a favorite to win the ACC. Tech swept Wright State at Russ Chandler Stadium, taking the games by scores of 9-8, 16-5 and 9-6.

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The Jackets mashed six home runs (five on Saturday) and had a team batting average of .365 in the three games. They won the opener in walk-off fashion. Down 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth, the Jackets loaded the bases with one out when first baseman Andrew Jenkins hit a deep fly to center that was dropped, allowing the tying and winning runs to score. On Sunday, they rallied from a 6-5 deficit with a four-run eighth inning, keyed by a two-out, bases-loaded triple by shortstop Chandler Simpson.

Jenkins was the star of the weekend. Hitting out of the third spot behind Simpson and Kevin Parada, Jenkins was 6-for-9 with two doubles, scoring four times and driving in five. Third baseman Drew Compton hit two home runs, was 6-for-10 and reached base nine times. Simpson, making his Tech debut after transferring from UAB, was 6-for-12, reached base nine times, scored seven runs and was successful in two of three stolen-base attempts.

It was first 3-0 start for Tech (3-0) since 2017. Wright State (0-3) was picked to win the Horizon League after winning the conference championship a year ago while leading Division I in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and run production.

The most impressive pitching performances might have been given by Joseph Mannelly and Josiah Siegel. In relief appearances on Friday and Sunday, Mannelly pitched a total of three innings with no earned runs allowed, gave up one hit and struck out six while walking one.

Siegel came into Saturday’s game in the fourth with Tech ahead 6-2. He threw three no-hit, no-run innings with four strikeouts and one walk to earn the win.

As a staff, 14 Tech pitchers combined for a 5.00 ERA. They limited Wright State to seven extra-base hits, amassed 40 strikeouts and had an opponent batting average of .233. However, the walks were a problem.

The Jackets gave up an ACC-worst 5.2 walks per game last year. The number after the first weekend was 5.0 per game.

Walks and errors nearly cost the Jackets Friday. Tech was ahead 7-3 going into the top of the ninth, but three walks and two errors helped turn three singles into a five-run inning for the Raiders that put them ahead 8-7 going into the bottom of the ninth.

Tech plays two mid-week games this week (at Georgia Southern Tuesday and at home vs. Presbyterian) before a weekend home series against Gardner-Webb.

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