Georgia Tech University lived up to its No. 1 ranking last weekend with a three-game sweep of the GW baseball team in Atlanta, Ga. The undefeated Yellow Jackets pounded the Colonials from behind the plate, outscoring GW 26-8 in the series.
The Colonials struggled most in the bookends of the series, dropping the first game 13-4 Friday night and the final game 9-2 Sunday afternoon. But senior Greg Conden kept GW (4-4) in Saturday’s game, which the Colonials only lost by a 4-2 margin.
“It’s Georgia Tech. That’s in your mind,” Conden said after Saturday’s start. “Their number nine batter can hurt you just as much as their number two batter can.”
Whenever GW seemed to put together an offensive rally, the Yellow Jackets (9-0) would respond with runs in bunches.
“It’s like they can just flip a switch and score at will in any inning,” GW senior captain Tony Dokoupil said.
Georgia Tech pitchers were equally impressive, allowing only seven earned runs in three games.
“Their pitching staff is the best we’ve ever faced here at GW,” head coach Tom Walter said.
GW players said although they were disappointed with the losses, they gained confidence that they can match up with Georgia Tech-caliber teams.
“They have three or four guys that are head and shoulders above anybody else on the field,” Dokoupil said. “Other than that, I think we match up pretty well.”
He added, “We can build confidence in this. We don’t play the number one team in the country every week.”
Freshman shortstop Tom Shanley was a bright spot for the Colonials this weekend, hitting safely in all three games this weekend and extending his season-long hit streak to eight games.
GT 9, GW 2
Sunday, March 2
The Colonials hung tough for a substantial portion of Sunday’s game. Left-handed sophomore Dan Sullivan (0-1) threw four perfect innings before allowing three runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Shanley put the first run on the board with a two-out RBI single but the Yellow Jackets immediately answered with three runs, a lead they would never surrender.
A Travis Crowder homer (1) kept the Colonials close but Georgia Tech broke the game open in the top of the sixth with three runs and added three more in the eighth to take the 9-2 win.
GT 4, GW
Saturday, March 1
Unlike their lopsided defeats Friday and Sunday, the Colonials held their own in the middle game of the series. But GW managed just two runs as the Yellow Jackets handed Greg Conden (2-1) his first loss of the season.
A big fourth inning by Georgia Tech spoiled an otherwise strong performance from Conden, as the Yellow Jackets scored three runs by hitting Conden early in the count.
“I pitched well (Saturday) except for the fourth inning,” Conden said. “They jumped on my first pitches. I only threw eight pitches to the six batters I faced.”
Conden’s career win total remains at 30 and a victory in his next start will make him the GW career leader in wins.
For the second day in a row, the Colonials took an early 1-0 lead that disappeared quickly. Tony Dokoupil’s RBI single in the top of the fourth put GW on the board first, but the Yellow Jackets followed with three runs in the bottom half of the frame.
After its big fourth inning, Georgia Tech only managed one more run the rest of the way, but GW did not score its second run until the ninth inning.
GT 13, GW 4
Friday, Feb. 28
Georgia Tech overpowered the Colonials Friday night, taking the opening game of the series 13-4. GW starter Nick CasaGrande dropped to 0-1 on the season, giving up nine runs in three innings of work. Anthony Riglani and Joe Michalski each had two hits in the loss.
The Colonials jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Georgia Tech quickly responded with six runs in the bottom of the second, taking a 6-1 lead into the fourth.