You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myAJC.com.

Georgia Tech baseball: 3 things to know


Georgia Tech baseball opens its season Friday at home against BYU in the third annual Atlanta Challenge. The Yellow Jackets to Florida lost in the NCAA Gainesville Regional last year to end the season with a 38-25 record. Tech will try to make it past the regional round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than a decade.

Here are three important issues heading into the season:

Health of Kel Johnson: If the Yellow Jackets want to go deep in the NCAA tournament, there are going to need a healthy Kel Johnson to get them there. After being limited in the second half of last season with an ankle injury, Johnson believes that he is close to 100 percent like he was freshman year.

“It’s close to 100 percent like freshman year, huge strides this offseason in rehab and getting that range of motion back,” Johnson said. “Last year it was playable the first half of the year, but the second half of the year it began to bother me. But now I’m getting that range of motion back and its pain free. I’m excited to be out there running and bouncing around like I always have in the past.”

Johnson has received numerous preseason accolades, such as being named to the USA Baseball Gold Spikes Award preseason watch list, NCBWA preseason All-America second team, the Collegiate Baseball preseason All-America third team and the Perfect Game preseason All-ACC team.

Who will replace Connor Justus? Justus was the only Jacket to start all 63 games last season, and losing him to the draft leaves a big hole at shortstop. The top candidate was more than likely coach Danny Hall’s son Carter Hall, but he is dealing with a stress fracture and will not play this weekend. Instead, freshman Austin Wilhite will start.

“The guy that has really stepped up and played really well is Austin Wilhite, another freshman,” Danny Hall said. “Austin will be starting at shortstop. He’s impressed everybody just the way he’s played not only in the fall, but this preseason in some of these scrimmages.”

Team chemistry different than in years past: Hall was asked about any changes he’s seen in the team over the offseason. The main thing he said he noticed is how close the team has been.

“They seem to be really close and their doing a lot of things together, not only on the field but off the field,” Hall said. “I think when you have a team that bonds a lot, they have a tendency to play harder and play together. That’s the one thing I’ve seen from this team. They seem to care a lot about each other, and I think that goes a long way.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Brewers blank Braves as Teheran struggles again at home
Brewers blank Braves as Teheran struggles again at home

Braves right-hander Julio Teheran’s fastball velocity is down a tick, hitters don’t swing and miss it a lot and when they make contact it’s a fly ball a relatively high percentage of the time. All of those things have been true for a while with Teheran but now he’s playing home games at SunTrust Park, where pitchers with that...
Still work to do as Hawks determine direction of franchise
Still work to do as Hawks determine direction of franchise

It’s time to get back to work. Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk gave his charges in the front office the weekend off after the long days and nights leading up to and through Thursday’s NBA Draft. The pace does not slow after the brief respite. The free agency period begins this week. The Hawks also have an entry in the Las Vegas Summer...
Fox Sports Southeast to air Hawks draftees, Howard press conferences
Fox Sports Southeast to air Hawks draftees, Howard press conferences

Fox Sports Southeast will televise two live press conferences of interest to Hawks fans on Monday. The network with televise the Hawks’ introductory press conference of their three draft picks at 11 a.m. That will be followed by the Hornets’ introductory press conference for the Dwight Howard, acquired in a trade with the Hawks last week...
Guzan, Johnson called up for Gold Cup
Guzan, Johnson called up for Gold Cup

Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Lilburn native and goalkeeper Sean Johnson were named to the U.S. men’s national team for the upcoming Gold Cup. The Gold Cup is a tournament featuring national teams from North America, Central America and the Caribbean. It begins July 7 and ends July 26. The U.S. will open against Panama on July 8. It...
Matt Kemp returns to Braves lineup
Matt Kemp returns to Braves lineup

Braves left fielder Matt Kemp returned to the lineup on Sunday after missing two games because of a sore left hamstring. Kemp initially wasn’t in the lineup announced by the Braves but was added later in place of Danny Santana. Kemp left Thursday’s game because of what the Braves said was tightness in his left hamstring. Kemp sat out a...
More Stories