No. 21 Georgia Tech Hosts Akron To Open 2013 Season
The Yellow Jackets are coming off an ACC Championship in 2012
Feb. 13, 2013
>> All three games can be seen live on RamblinWreck.com, while Nolan Alexander and Wade Rogers have the call on WREK 91.1 FM Atlanta.
>> The Yellow Jackets are coming off the program's eighth ACC Championship in 2012, going 38-26, and reaching an NCAA Regional for 28th time in program history and for the 26th time in the last 28 years.
>> Tech welcomes 23 players back from 2012 and boasts one of the most experienced lineups in the nation. Preseason All-America seniors Buck Farmer and Brandon Thomas each turned down high draft picks to return in 2013, and six Jackets have each played 117 games or more in their college careers.
>> Akron comes to Atlanta with a second-year head coach that's no stranger to the Yellow Jackets. Rick Rembielak, who was a volunteer assistant on Danny Hall's staff in 2011, has won 530 games as a college head coach.
>> Georgia Tech is ranked in all four polls to open the regular season, marking the 20th time under Coach Hall that the Jackets are ranked in at least one preseason poll. Tech was a preseason pick by the ACC coaches to finish second to North Carolina in the Coastal Division.
>> Tech reached an NCAA Regional for the 28th time in the program's history, and for the 26th time in the last 28 seasons. The Jackets finished the runner-up in the Gainesville Regional to overall No. 1-seed Florida.
>> Tech's ACC Tournament championship in 2012 came on the heels of a 2011 season that saw the Yellow Jackets claim the ACC's regular-season crown.
>> The 2012 season saw head coach Danny Hall achieve a pair of noteworthy career milestones, winning his 800th career game at Tech and the 1,000th in his overall head-coaching career.
>> Davies, who was named the ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player, also garnered Honorable Mention All-America honors along with RHP Alex Cruz.
>> The Jackets have all but one starting position player returning and welcome back every pitcher that contributed significant innings down the stretch.
>> Junior Zane Evans is among the nation's top multi-purpose players. The Roswell, Ga. native is Tech's top returning catcher, who hit .295 last year and was among the ACC's leaders with seven saves as the closer.
>> There may be no bigger power threat in the ACC than junior Daniel Palka. The lefty, who competed in the 2012 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby, has mashed 24 home runs in his first two seasons.
>> Across the diamond, Tech will look similar to 2012 with Thomas and Kyle Wren in the outfield, Mott Hyde and Thomas Smith up the middle in the infield and Evans catching. Freshman Matt Gonzalez, who was drafted in the 11th round but chose Tech, could win the starting job at third base -- a move that would bump senior Sam Dove to the outfield and Daniel Palka to first base.
>> Following an impressive fall season, sophomore A.J. Murray is expected to be starting at either first base or as the designated hitter. Sophomore Daniel Spingola and freshman Dylan Dore also give Tech options in the outfield.
>> Behind Farmer, Isaacs and Pitts in the starting rotation, freshman LHP Jonathan King was strong in the fall and continues to compete for a starting spot, along with sophomore righty Josh Heddinger.
>> With seven saves in 2012, Evans is expected to anchor Tech's bullpen as the closer, and junior Alex Cruz (1.83 ERA, 8-3 in 2012) being the bridge to Evans. Junior righty Jonathan Roberts was strong in the fall and should compete for more impactful innings in 2013.
>> Tech was void of lefty options in the bullpen in 2012, but that will change in 2013 with King, fellow freshman southpaw Sam Clay and the return of junior Devin Stanton, who missed all but one game last season with an injury. Stanton underwent Tommy John surgery and the expectations are for him to return to game action by March.
ABOUT THE AKRON ZIPS
>> Second-year head coach Rick Rembielak is no stranger to Georgia Tech, serving as a volunteer assistant coach here for the 2011 season.
>> Akron was 17-38 in its first season under Rembielak, finishing fifth in the Mid-American Conference East Divison.
>> Tech opened has opened each of the last three seasons with a MAC foe, going 2-1 versus Kent State in 2011 and splitting games with Kent State last season.
PRESEASON ACC COACHES POLL
>> NC State was the preseason pick to win both the Atlantic Division, and the overall league title.
TECH CRACKS PRESEASON TOP 25 FOR 20TH UNDER HALL
>> After finishing last season outside of the Top 25 in all four major polls, Tech debuts this year at 16th by Baseball America, 17th by Collegiate, and 21st in both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.
>> Danny Hall will once again serve on the voting panel of the 31 Division-I coaches that select the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.
A MODEL OF SUCCESS
>> Since 2002, Tech has appeared in 10 Regionals, three Super Regionals and two College World Series (2002 and 2006).
>> Prior to its recent streak, Georgia Tech had participated in the NCAA playoffs just twice, in 1959 and 1971, with an additional play-in tournament appearance in 1948.
>> Georgia Tech made its first trip to the College World Series in 1994, advancing to the championship game before falling to Oklahoma, 13-5.
>> Under Danny Hall, Tech is averaging 43.0 wins per season, a figure that ranks 10th nationally since the 1994 season.