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ACC Midterm Grades: Georgia Tech

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Tech Athletics

It is past the halfway mark in the ACC conference slate which means it's time for midterm grades to go out on all 14 ACC teams. Next up on the docket is Georgia Tech, who currently boasts a record of 22-13 (7-8 ACC) and sits at fifth in the Coastal division.

The Yellow Jackets opened the season with six straight wins enroute to a 17-4 start to their 2024 campaign, but back-to-back series sweeps at the hands of North Carolina and Boston College derailed what was an otherwise great season. But two series wins against Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech seemingly has Danny Hall's team back on the right track.

Offense: B

In comparison to recent years, 2024 may seem like a disappointment to Yellow Jacket fans. However, the Georgia Tech offense has remained one of the most lethal in all of college baseball.

Freshman outfielder Drew Burress has cemented himself as a household name, boasting a batting average of .374, 49 hits and 44 RBIs. His eye-popping 15 home runs is good enough for second in the conference, behind only All-American slugger Nick Kurtz.

On top of Burress’ newfound stardom, the Yellow Jacket offense boasts an additional five batters with an average of over .300. Senior catcher Matthew Ellis has established himself as the next best power bat for Hall’s team, blasting 10 home runs this season.

As the Yellow Jackets’ schedule continues to toughen, it is imperative that the team’s bats continue to find ways to win ballgames.

Rotation: C

Average is probably the most accurate adjective to describe the Yellow Jackets’ pitching staff.

Junior right-hander and CBC all-star Aeden Finateri is the team’s strikeout leader with 48 in nine starts, but it is Carson Ballard — another freshman — that leads the team’s everyday starters with an ERA of 3.64. Georgia State transfer Cam Jones has settled nicely into a weekend role and has posted an ERA of 3.86 and a team-low three home runs allowed (among starters).

Overall, things have definitely improved from last year, but the Yellow Jackets have a long way to go before they re-establish themselves as a perennial power in the ACC.

Bullpen: C

Things have been… interesting out of the Yellow Jacket bullpen to say the least. With ERAs ranging from 3.38 to 99.00, you never know exactly what to expect when Hall makes the signal to the pen.

Of the four Yellow Jackets to throw more than 20 innings in relief, not one boasts a sub-4.50 ERA. Freshmen Michael Kovala and Jackson Gaspard lead the entire Georgia Tech roster with ERAs of 3.38, while freshman Tate McKee leads the bullpen with 34 strikeouts, good enough for second on the team.

Just like their rotation, the Yellow Jackets will expect more from their bullpen as conference play continues. While things have improved since 2023, do not be surprised if pitching leads to the program’s downfall in 2024.

Overall: B-

Georgia Tech seems to be in a transition year, but with a good second half performance, could find themselves on the bubble with a chance at the NCAA Tournament.

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