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What makes this year's Georgia Tech team different

(Via Georgia Tech Athletics)

For the last two seasons, the Georgia Tech baseball program has become known for their electrifying offense and horrendous pitching staff.

But now, sitting at 16-4 and fresh off a sweep of then-No. 20 North Carolina State, there are a number of reasons to believe that the tides may be turning for the Yellow Jackets in 2024.

Of course, the Yellow Jacket offense — which leads the ACC in on-base percentage (.458), ranks fourth in slugging (.590) and seventh in batting average (.321) — is still among the nation's best. In fact, Georgia Tech ranks within the top-15 in the NCAA in runs per game (9.9).

Freshman outfielder Drew Burress has led the charge for the Yellow Jackets offensively, leading the team with 34 RBI, 29 hits and 13 home runs. Only Georgia's Charlie Condon and Campbell's Grant Knipp have accounted for more home runs this season than the star freshman.

The Georgia Tech offense is much more than Burress, however, with a number of dangerous bats scattered throughout the depth chart. NC State transfer Payton Green leads the Yellow Jackets with a batting average of .380, but six other starters also boast a batting average of .300 or better.

However, the Georgia Tech pitching staff has been perhaps the most impressive unit throughout the program's scorching hot start. After posting a team ERA of 7.01 during their 2023 campaign, the Yellow Jackets currently boast a cumulative ERA of just 4.68.

While their ERA is still only good enough for sixth best in the ACC and just 62nd in the NCAA, it is a considerable improvement from a staff that ranked outside the top-200 in the NCAA just a season ago. The Yellow Jackets also sit at No. 6 in the conference in both batting average allowed (.251) and fifth in fielding percentage (.979), both of which are also significant jumps from last year's squad.

(Via Georgia Tech Athletics)

Junior right-hander and Saturday starter Aeden Finateri has taken the lead for the Yellow Jackets on the weekend, posting a 3.60 ERA to go along with a perfect 3-0 record. The team has alternated starters on both Fridays and Sundays, but Logan McGuire and Mason Patel seem to occupy a spot in the weekend rotation at the moment.

In their midweek matchups, the Yellow Jackets have handed the keys to right-hander Carson Ballard — who may be the most impressive pitcher on the roster thus far. In five appearances (four starts), Ballard has posted an ERA of just 1.50 — good enough for 19th in the NCAA — and a record of 2-1. Ballard is currently holding opponents to a batting average of just .209, which is good enough for second among the program's starters.

With seven matchups against teams within the College Baseball Central top-25 remaining on the schedule, it will be interesting to see how the Georgia Tech — who sit at No. 24 themselves — pitching staff holds up. However, with a bevy of talent up and down the entire roster, the Yellow Jakcets should be able to hold their own against some of the country's best.


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