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College  | Story  | 5/8/2016

Gold, Jackets stun Hurricanes

Matt Czechanski      Patrick Ebert     
Photo: Danny Karnik/GT Athletics

Weekend Preview | Field of 64National Notebook | Perfect Game Top 25 | Video Vault

Georgia Tech 12, No. 4 Miami 1

In a very highly anticipated series between a pair of ranked teams, Georgia Tech took the big opening night win over Miami with an anti-climactic score of 12-1. Dominant pitching and overall lackluster play from the Hurricanes helped the Jackets get the leg up in the three-game set.

The story for Georgia Tech starts with junior righthander Brandon Gold. I got a chance to break him down after his strong start a week ago against Coastal Carolina and he matched that performance tonight against the Hurricanes.

Gold does not wow you with raw stuff, he lets his high-level pitchibility and command shine even against a stout lineup. He showed the same longer arm action with slight stab in the back with average arm speed. He begins his windup with a slight perch in to a medium leg raise. He landed online and had a slight backside collapse while landing on a flexible front leg. He was ultra-repeatable on the mound and lived in the lower third with his fastball that worked 87-90 mph and touched 91 mph. The pitch showed slight arm-side life, but plays up given his ability to get to both sides of the plate and stay out of the middle of the zone.

He showed the same confidence in his off-speed stuff he did last week using his changeup often to get a swing and miss or strike later in the count. The pitch topped out at 82 mph with good fade and worked as an above average offering. He also showed a breaking ball with some slurvy shape at 81 mph. The pitch showed some bite and was a more consistent pitch for him than last week. It worked for him on the mound as a reliable third pitch throughout his seven shutout innings on the mound.

Projected to go in the first half of the first round in next month’s draft, Miami catcher Zack Collins showed off his very impressive power in batting practice. Collins put on one of the more absurd rounds of batting practice I’ve seen in recent memory with ball after ball landing beyond or half-way up the evergreen trees beyond the right field fence. It’s a power profile for Collins all the way with plus-plus raw power at the plate.

He stands at 6-foot-3, 220-pounds with good strength in his lower half and throughout his frame. Collins showed plus bat speed at the plate with a slight uppercut in his swing, but paired those with tons of barrel feel. He utilizes a toe tap timing mechanism with an easy weight shift and clears his hip with ease. He gets a ton of lift in his swing and subsequently lots of backspin.

Behind the plate, he showed a very strong arm. The arm is another plus tool and he likes to show it off. While no Jackets attempted a stolen base, that didn’t stop Collins from attempting a backpick to either first or third base. He also gunned down a runner trying to advance on a throw home with ease. His blocking skills and footwork are a bit raw, but if he can stick behind the plate at the next level he has a chance to be an upper echelon bat at the position.

At the plate during the game, Gold and reliever Burton Delaney each pitched him away. He earned a walk and a bloop single off of Gold, while grounding out in his final two plate appearances. He barely missed a pair of pitches in the middle of the zone, but was wisely not given many opportunities.

The offense for Georgia Tech did their damage slowly throughout the game and with some assistance from the Miami defense. Kel Johnson and Arden Pabst each collected three hits on the night. Pabst delivered a two-run, two-out single in the fifth and ripped an RBI double in the seventh as well. He showed good bat speed at the plate and looked far more comfortable than in recent viewings. He had solid bat speed with a line drive plane and showed some barrel feel.

National Notes

• Texas A&M made a huge statement on Saturday as senior righthander Kyle Simonds tossed a no-hitter over visiting Vanderbilt in a 3-0 victory.  He faced one over the minimum (error), needing just 83 pitches to complete the feat. Boomer White added three more hits in the win as the Aggies move to 37-10 overall and 16-8 in the SEC. They will wrap up the regular season with two very difficult series; three on the road against No. 7 South Carolina and will return home to face No. 10 Ole Miss before the SEC Tournament begins.

• For as impressive as Texas A&M’s win was, No. 3 Mississippi State took all three games from visiting Mizzou in what was also a Thursday-Saturday SEC series. The top of the lineup continued to power the offense, although the Bulldogs scored only three runs on 13 base hits. After winning the three games this weekend, as compared to Texas A&M’s two, Mississippi State pulls within one game of the Aggies in the West with a 15-9 SEC record.

• Ole Miss could very well join Mississippi State with a 15-9 conference mark after taking the second game of their series in Athens against Georgia on Saturday. After Errol Robinson had a big day at the plate on Friday, J.B. Woodman got back to his hot-hitting ways, hitting a pair of home runs in the Rebels’ 7-3 win over the Bulldogs. Wyatt Short picked up his ninth save of the year by providing 1 2/3 scoreless frames to close out the game.

• Potential No. 1 overall pick A.J. Puk continued to struggle with command as Tennessee evened their series against the No. 1 Gators on Saturday with a 5-2 victory. Puk lasted just 3 1/3 innings, allowing three hits, six walks and a two-run bomb off the bat of another highly touted draft prospect, Nick Senzel. Although it should be noted that Puk struck out six of the 20 batters he faced.

Logan Warmoth hit a home run in the bottom of the 10th that allowed No. 25 North Carolina to walk off as winners over visiting Louisville. Warmoth also hit a sac fly in the seventh that temporarily put the Tar Heels on top, as Louisville’s Colin Lyman hit an RBI single in the top of the ninth that eventually forced extra innings. Taking tomorrow’s rubber match against the Cardinals will be crucial to UNC as they have lost their previous two ACC weekend series. It’s equally important for Louisville as they still seek a statement series win on the road.