My first look at Georgia Tech this year produced the "ho-hum, Tech is good" sentiment that has become common for the program for years now. The Yellow Jackets are a solid team top to bottom and should be considered a regional threat again.
Georgia Tech swept Bowling Green over three games this past weekend. Jonathan King was solid in Friday's win, allowing one earned and two total runs on seven hits in 7.1 innings, striking out four. Cole Pitts followed with two runs on five hits in five innings Saturday, striking out four. Josh Heddinger finished Sunday with four earned and five total runs in 3.1 innings.
Mott Hyde went 6 for 12 with two doubles, a triple and four RBI in the three games. The second baseman isn't one to stand out physically or with flashy tools, but he can easily become a favorite with a solid glove, clean throwing motion and clean mechanics at the plate. He has a quick bat and barrels the ball well, and he also shows some raw power. Hyde was bumped up to leadoff Sunday and continued to hit, and I expect him to continue hitting well throughout his senior season.
Pitts has a good fastball that shows the ability to cut or tail, but if it's left over the plate, it can stay straight. He showed average command of the pitch, and it's probably an average pitch at this point. His breaking ball is the best offering, showing good downing action and bite. He was inconsistent with it Saturday, both choking it in the dirt and looping it high and away. But when he snapped off a good one, it's an above average pitch that projects plus. Pitts' changeup is a developing pitch that's presently below average. He often left it up and on the plate. Pitts has a solid, durable body for a starter. He lost some extension at times by falling off to the side, but his mechanics are pretty clean. He just needs to develop a more reliable third pitch.
Left fielder Matt Gonzalez shows an impressive bat with hit and power projections. He drops the barrel to the ball and lets the pitch travel through the zone well. He barreled it consistently to all parts of the field, and the ball comes off the bat pretty well. He's not the biggest outfielder, but he shows good projection at the plate as a sophomore.
Left-handed reliever Devin Stanton showed a solid two-pitch combination with a fastball that tailed well and was commanded to both sides, and a breaking ball with excellent depth and bite. Stanton's breaking ball showed average command, but his feel for the pitch seemed pretty advanced, and I think it projects as plus. He might be a LOOGY in the making as a college senior.
Right-handed reliever Alex Cruz is your typical low-three-quarters guy who gets excellent run and sink on his fastball. He showed pretty good command of the pitch, and if he can command it well, it's a definite pro offering. He paired it with an average breaking ball that showed late bite and tight spin, and I think it projects well. Cruz is another senior who should get his shot after college.
Georgia Tech has rival Georgia in Athens on Tuesday before playing host to Wake Forest for the weekend.
The Pacers dropped two of three to Flagler this past weekend in surprising fashion. They didn't receive their usual reliable pitching as Derek Beasley failed to pitch this week. Danny Wissmann started the opener and allowed two runs with seven strikeouts in six innings. Taylor Peed was knocked around for seven runs in 4.1 innings in the second game. Nick Yobbi came out of the bullpen to start the third game, also allowing seven runs in 4.1 innings, although he struck out seven.
Left fielder Matt Bosse had four hits, including a triple and home run, with five RBI in the three games. Kody Belcher had a good Saturday, going 3 for 4 with a home run, two RBI and a walk.
USC Aiken plays host to Paine on Wednesday before Armstrong Atlantic State for the weekend.
The Jaguars lost to Erskine on Friday before sweeping a doubleheader against Lindenwood on Sunday. Kip Custer struggled in the opener, but Clint Echols impressed in his rotation debut Sunday, allowing one run on five hits in six innings, striking out eight. Frank Warren was solid in the doubleheader finale.
Hunter Boose had two doubles against Erskine on Friday. He added three hits, including a double, in Sunday's first game. Jeff Rice was 3 for 3 with four RBI in Sunday's second game. JD Sabo went 2 for 5 with an RBI.
The Jaguars play host to Paine on Tuesday before traveling to North Georgia for the weekend.
The Gamecocks did as well as a team could hope against its rival, sweeping three games against Clemson over the weekend. Jordan Montgomery needed some offensive help in the first game, allowing five earned and six total over 5.1 innings, walking five and striking out nine. Jack Wynkoop was solid in the second game, allowing two runs with three strikeouts in six innings. Wil Crowe allowed three runs with two strikeouts in 6.2 innings in the third game.
Grayson Greiner was impressive in the first game, going 3 for 5 with a grand slam and five RBI. He nearly single-handedly brought the Gamecocks back to win the opener with the grand slam and fifth RBI. Greiner is hitting .343 with two doubles and three homers this season, showing excellent power from a strong frame behind the plate. A tweet from a Baseball America reporter after the game said Greiner had the "it" factor you hope to see from a catcher. Tanner English added a home run Friday and went 2 for 4 with a double and three RBI on Sunday.
South Carolina plays host to Stetson on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by Brown for the weekend.
The Bulldogs rebounded from a tough start to the season to sweep Binghamton this past weekend. Ryan Lawlor was solid in the first game, allowing five hits over six shutout innings, striking out four. Sean McLaughlin allowed two runs in four innings in the second game. Patrick Boling had the best outing in the third game, throwing seven scoreless with three strikeouts.
Nelson Ward had two games with two hits and a double each, adding two RBI in the first game. Conor Welton had two solid games, including 3 for 5 with two RBI in the second game.
Georgia plays host to Georgia Tech on Tuesday and Charleston Southern on Wednesday. The Bulldog Invitational is this weekend, with Buffalo, North Florida and Western Carolina participating.
The Eagles took three of four between Ohio and Southern Illinois Edwardsville over the weekend. Their one loss was Friday to Ohio. Sam Howard allowed two earned and three total in six innings. Harlem product Josh Wirsu gave up one earned and two total in six innings in the second game, setting a career high with seven strikeouts. The final two games were bullpen efforts for Georgia Southern.
Chase Griffin had a double, home run and four RBI in the four games. Stryker Brown stayed hot by recording five hits, including two doubles and three RBI. Ryan Cleveland had a big fourth game, going 2 for 3 with two home runs, three RBI and a walk. The power numbers aren't surprising from Cleveland's big first baseman frame. Garrett Chapman was the hottest, racking up nine hits and five RBI in the four games. Chapman has at least one hit in every game this season.
The 10-2 Eagles will travel to Charleston Southern on Wednesday before playing host to Holy Cross over the weekend.
Kennesaw State's Max Pentecost had three hits, two RBI and three walks in four games this week. The Owls beat Georgia Tech this past Wednesday before losing two of three to Jacksonville State. They're on the road to Georgia State on Tuesday and Columbia for the weekend.