Posted: 3:20 pm Monday, April 7th, 2014

After sweep of Duke, Tech baseball’s tough road ahead 

By Ken Sugiura

A week after getting swept by Pittsburgh, the Georgia Tech baseball team returned above the .500 mark in ACC play by sweeping Duke at home  by 7-4, 5-1 and 1-0 scores. Tech is now 19-13 overall and 8-7 in the ACC.

Sunday starter Matthew Grimes continued his strong season in his return from Tommy John surgery, throwing six shutout innings. Grimes is 4-1 with a 3.21 ERA despite a .272 opponent batting average. Reliever Sam Clay lowered his ERA to 0.42, appearing in all three games and not allowing any runs.

Second baseman Mott Hyde extended his hitting streak to 10 games, during which he has hit .366.

Some other trivia:

1. The rest of the way for Tech is an arduous route. The Jackets’ remaining series are against Florida State (No. 2 in RPI, according to boydsworld.com), Maryland (13), N.C. State (42), Virginia Tech (115) and Virginia (10). The Maryland, N.C. State and Virginia series are on the road.

Tech is No. 56 in RPI, according to boydsworld.com. It’s entirely plausible that the Jackets could lose four of their final five ACC series. That said, while the Jackets were swept by Pittsburgh (111) two weekends ago, they also beat North Carolina (65) and Miami (No. 26).

To get into the NCAA tournament, Tech could have to win three of the final five series. (There’s an additional non-conference series at the end of the regular season against South Florida.) Boyd Nation, who operates boydsworld.com (I’m not sure if Nation is actually his last name; I suspect it is), wrote to me that ACC and SEC teams “seldom make it higher than about # 47,” which was an interesting delineation point, but, who am I to question Boyd Nation?

2. Pitching out of the bullpen and another year’s experience seem to be making a remarkable difference for Dusty Isaacs. Last year, Isaacs typically struggled as a starter but pitched much better out of the bullpen. He was converted to a full-time reliever this season and has a staff-leading 2.39 ERA, though his .264 opponent batting average is a bit heavy.

One significant difference for Isaacs: no home runs and four extra-base hits in 26 1/3 innings thus far. Last year, he gave up 11 home runs and 24 extra-base hits in 82 2/3 innings. As a result, he had a 4.90 ERA despite a slightly better opponent batting average (.260).

3. To that end, another number-crunched note: Tech’s opponent batting average is relatively similar, .253 this year and .263 last year. Tech gives up 8.4 hits per nine innings this year after giving up 8.9 hits per nine innings last year. The strikeout/walk ratio (1.67 this year, 1.73 last year) are practically the same.

Yet the ERA is 3.30 this year after it was a bloated 4.35 last year. The most noticeable difference is home runs. Last year, the Jackets gave up one every 14.2 innings – about two every three games – while the rate this season is one per 29.8, about one every third game.

13 comments
Radar123
Radar123

Ross not a good coach?

No I agree he was but u remember him better than he was due to one great year.

His first two were awful and the cupboard was not so bare that we should lose to Duke three straight.

If however I'm wrong about that then Curry was about as awful a hire as Homer could make.

Well next to long time Uga assistant Bill Lewis.

I'd hire the devil himself before I would hire a long time Uga assistant.

And how did that work out for us?

And Ross, like Curry, dumped us and left those he recruited to Tech in the hands of Bill Lewis.

What a guy.

Radar123
Radar123

I do not much like "haters' or recently sounding like one myself but folks that complain about coaches may be advance warning that a coach is likely to deplete the fan base with mediocrity.

Bobby Dodd was paid 25k for coaching football and made another 45K from gambling at cards and golf about 1950.

We have three coaches set for life as soon as they became head coaches at Tech.

What do we fans get from this?

We can't fire them like they do their assistants who get nothing when fired.

We can't fire them because then we will have another coach on the "college coach welfare program" that pays them millions to do nothing though they can tear up the contract whenever they want to leave.

Just my opinion but I think college ADs have wimped out by letting them leave.

Yes I am a broken record about this.

Well my sports money just went to 3 20 game season tickets to the Braves.

I have avoided paying the pros because of their insane contracts for about 20 years.

I have been at Turner field for only ONE game since it was built.

I was a season ticker holder for both Tech football and basketball (full season and not just ACC package) for numerous years.

My first Tech football game was a 14-7 upset of Tennessee about 1961.

I did not graduate from Tech and may not be as well off as grads but I am doing a lot better than many.

I would like be a consultant or assistant AD.

That's laughable right?

Well I would have told MBob not to give any more extensions, even for one year, and saved Tech a million if Gregory does not pan out.

How is it no one told him how sick of extensions this fan base is?

Alexander knew and predicted Dodd would be a better head coach than him.

We have not had an AD (including Dodd) who could spot a good coach since then.

I think u have lost me.

Now call me a troll as u usually do.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Our coach and done so much less with so much more ...........Has been time for a change for about 7/8 years.

kman81
kman81

Easy to have a winning record when you play in a weak conference and only schedule Elon and Alabama A&M every year.  Miami played FSU in a non conference game this year since the ACC didn't schedule them but Danny Hall wouldn't play our rival Clemson.  He only schedules weak teams to pad his record and then wonders why the team can't beat average teams like Charleston in the post season.  I've never seen a guy who couldn't even teach simple fundamentals like base running before but the guys act like they have never run a base before when they get to May and Hall just stands there with his arms folded looking like a lost pouty little kid. Schedule some real teams in the regular season and then you will know what to do in the post season  and maybe the ACC could win a championship for the first time in 50 years.

billbrockman
billbrockman

Good luck finding another coach who will never have a losing record in 21 years.

kman81
kman81

How much longer on Danny Hall's contract?  How has he managed to drag the program down below Maryland, a school that doesn't even care about baseball.  With the recruiting advantage that he has with the Hope scholarship and playing in the backyard of the East Cobb program, there is no reason for Tech to have missed the super regionals several years in a row.  Hall has become lazy and let the program slip too far in the past 5 years.  UGA has hired a new coach and already passed Tech in 2 months.  Hall even has a  losing record against the other state schools this year.  Time for a change and get the ship righted again.

billbrockman
billbrockman

Don't forget the NCAA leading outfield assists and the ACC leading double plays by this young team.  Also, Sam Clay, an average bullpen guy last year, is lights-out as a reliever.

POAD2013
POAD2013

Wasn't Tech picked to finish 5-6 in the ACC this year.

juvenal
juvenal

maybe they will be like the UK BK Frosh, & get ever better........

juvenal
juvenal

what Ross gave us was beyond price.........

forexbomb
forexbomb

@kman81  Kman are you kidding?  There are good teams in all divisions...  To say the only good teams are D1 teams is ABSURD, and it shows you very shallow knowledge of baseball in general..  It's always easy to criticize a coach, especially by some one who has never worn a jock...

juvenal
juvenal

hummingbirds do......