Kel Johnson, Georgia Tech

Kel Johnson, Georgia Tech (Georgia Tech)


Fall Report: Georgia Tech

Fall Report

Danny Hall did something for the first time in his illustrious 30-year college baseball coaching career last season.

He hopes to never do it again.

Georgia Tech lost back-to-back one-run games in the ACC tournament to finish the season 27-28 — Hall’s first losing season. For the second time in three years, the Yellow Jackets didn’t reach a regional after only missing the NCAA tournament twice in his first 21 seasons in Atlanta.

“It was an eye opener for everybody,” Hall said. “It definitely left a bad taste in my mouth and I think more importantly left a bad taste in our players’ at every turn.”

Last year’s struggles were heavily abetted by key injuries, but forced Hall to re-evaluate the team’s modus operandi this fall. The coaching staff made some changes in their falll approach, pushing back the start of fall practice. The later start date allowed some players more time to heal from offseason surgeries while also giving the team an extra month to focus on fundamentals before beginning team practices.

“It was more to give us four weeks honing in on getting back to the way we’ve played for many years,” Hall said. “We’ve got to get back to that.”

The Yellow Jackets have been known for their offensive firepower during Hall’s tenure producing big league all stars such as Matt Wieters, Charlie Blackmon, Mark Teixeira, Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek, but there has always been an underlying emphasis on defense as well. Wieters, Teixeira and Varitek all won Gold Gloves during their professional careers. After being in the top 50 in fielding percentage nationally for three years, Georgia Tech has finished No. 118 and No. 164 the last two seasons. Last year, it finished 12th in the ACC.

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