@GTBaseball Opens 2015 Season Friday
The Yellow Jackets host St. John's Friday, Fordham Saturday
Feb. 12, 2015
>> Georgia Tech opens its 118th season of baseball this weekend, hosting St. John's and Fordham at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets battle the Red Storm on Opening Day at 4 p.m., with the Rams and Yellow Jackets playing a doubleheader on Saturday at noon. Sunday's originally-scheduled game versus Liberty has been cancelled.
>> The Yellow Jackets are 16-5 on Opening Day under head coach Danny Hall and have won six straight at home.
>> St. John's is making its third visit to Russ Chandler since the 2011 season and Tech is 5-3 all-time versus the Red Storm (4-2 in games played at Russ Chandler Stadium). Tech and Fordham are meeting for the first time in baseball.
>> Georgia Tech returns eight of nine starting position players and two starting pitchers from a team that won 37 games and claimed the program's ninth ACC championship in 2014. The Jackets' nine titles tie Clemson for the most in conference history.
>> Last season, the Yellow Jackets advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 30th time in program history and for the 28th time in the past 30 seasons. Only Florida State and Miami have made more NCAAs over the last 30 years than Tech's 28.
>> Junior OF/3B Matt Gonzalez, who hit .314 and led the ACC with 21 doubles in 2014, enters the year as a Top 100-ranked junior by Perfect Game. RHP Cole Pitts and 1B/C A.J. Murray are each Top 100-ranked seniors by Perfect Game.
>> Gonzalez joins senior OF Daniel Spingola, who led the conference in hits (82) and triples (8), and senior 1B Thomas Smith, as All-ACC selections returning to Tech's lineup -- it marks the first time under Hall that three lefties will start on the weekend.
>> Pitts and junior lefty starter Jonathan King each missed much of last season with injuries but are expected back on the field in 2015. King draws the Jackets' opening-day start for the second straight season. He'll be followed by southpaws Ben Parr and Devin Stanton on the weekend.
>> The Yellow Jackets were one of the nation's best defensive teams last season, leading the NCAA in outfield assists (23) and double plays (77, school record), while also setting a school record for best fielding percentage of (.974). It marked the second consecutive season Tech broke the school's fielding percentage record after a .973 mark in 2013.
>> Danny Hall is entering his 22nd season as Tech's head coach (28th overall), and his last four seasons on the Flats have resulted in a pair of ACC tournament titles (2012, 2014), and an ACC regular-season title in 2011. Hall is a two-time ACC Coach of the Year and enters 2015 among the 15 winningest active coaches in college baseball with 1,099 wins.