No. 21 Baseball Opens Season This Weekend at Home


GAMES 1-3: #21 GEORGIA TECH HOSTS TRIO FOR ATLANTA INVITATIONAL
Friday, Feb. 19 - Sunday, Feb. 21 // Russ Chandler Stadium // Atlanta, Ga.
FRIDAY
vs. Purdue // First Pitch: 4 p.m. ET
TV: None // Radio: WREK 91.1 FM
Live Video // Live Stats

Georgia Tech Starting Pitcher
Brandon Gold, RHP, Sr.
SATURDAY
vs. W. Michigan // First Pitch: 2 p.m. ET
TV: None // Radio: WREK 91.1 FM
Live Video // Live Stats

Georgia Tech Starting Pitcher
Jonathan King, LHP, r-Jr.
SUNDAY
vs. VCU // First Pitch: 1 p.m. ET
TV: None // Radio: WREK-HD 2
Live Video // Live Stats

Georgia Tech Starting Pitcher
Jonathan Hughes, RHP, Fr.
Games Notes // 2016 Information Guide // @GTBaseball on Twitter // Listen Live

LEADING OFF: STORYLINES TO KNOW

  1. This weekend marks Georgia Tech’s 23rd baseball season under head coach Danny Hall. During Hall’s tenure, the Yellow Jackets are 21-1 in home openers and have won 10 straight openers at Russ Chandler Stadium. Tech is also 17-5 in season openers under Hall.
  2. Georgia Tech hosts Purdue, Western Michigan and VCU for the Atlanta Invitational. Tech is a combined 9-1 all-time against the three teams – 3-0 vs. Purdue, 2-0 vs. WMU and 4-1 vs. VCU.
  3. Sophomore OF Kel Johnson is one of 50 college baseball players nationwide named to the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award. A Freshman All-America selection last season, Johnson led all ACC rookies with 10 home runs.
  4. Baseball enters the 2016 season ranked in a preseason poll, coming in at No. 21 in the Preseason Top 25 by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.
  5. Three of Georgia Tech’s four All-ACC selections from a year ago return – 3B Matt Gonzalez (2nd team), RHP Brandon Gold (3rd team) and OF Kel Johnson (All-Freshman). The Jackets return 21 letterwinners, including seven position starters and four starting pitchers.
  6. Georgia Tech’s opening day roster includes 35 players – 32 of which are from the Peach State. Additionally, eight members of the current freshman class played in last year’s Georgia High School state championship series, and five of them won Georgia state titles.
  7. Purdue assistant coach Wally Crancer was a member of the Yellow Jackets baseball team and was later a volunteer assistant on The Flats from 2012-13 before taking the full-time assistant job at Purdue. Crancer played on Georgia Tech’s 2006 College World Series team.
  8. Five players part of Georgia Tech’s current freshman class were drafted. The Yellow Jackets’ 2016 recruiting class was ranked as high as No. 3 nationally.
  9. Georgia Tech has played in 27 NCAA Regionals in the last 30 years – tied for the third-highest number among Division I programs.
  10. Georgia Tech is 851-251-1 all-time at Russ Chandler Stadium (since 1985) – a winning percentage of .772. Georgia Tech is 584-182-1 (.761) at home under Danny Hall.

HOMEGROWN SUCCESS
• Head coach Danny Hall has had a history of building a wall around the Peach State and keeping the best prep talent close to home.
• 32 of this year’s 35-member opening weekend roster (91%) hail from the state of Georgia, which is home to some of the best high school baseball talent in the nation. Every freshman in this year’s class hails from Georgia.
• Eight members of the current freshman class played in last year’s Georgia High School state championship series, with five winning state titles (Bart, Gibson, Galloway, Hall, Stallings).
• Since 1999, the Yellow Jackets own a 146-53 (.737) record against their in-state foes. In 22 years under Hall, Tech is 190-70 (.734) against teams from Georgia.
• Tech has won the regular-season series from rival Georgia in four of the past five seasons and is 12-6 over the last 18 games versus the Bulldogs. Under Hall, Tech is 43-33 versus UGA.

MAKING A GOOD IMPRESSION
• This weekend marks Georgia Tech’s 23rd baseball season under head coach Danny Hall. During Hall’s tenure, the Yellow Jackets are 21-1 in home openers and have won 10 straight openers at Russ Chandler Stadium. Tech is also 17-5 in season openers under Hall, has won three straight, and seven of its last eight season openers.
• Georgia Tech has won three straight season openers and seven of its last eight.

NOTES FROM THE MOUND
• Brandon Gold, RHP: A two-way standout for Tech who pitched to a team-best 3.26 ERA and went 7-3 in 12 starts on the mound, earning third-team All-ACC honors.
• Jonathan King, LHP: Redshirt junior southpaw Jonathan King issued just 25 walks in 92 innings in 2015 – the lowest rate by a Georgia Tech starter since 2011.
• Jonathan Hughes, RHP: The righty from Flowery Branch, Ga., will be the first freshman pitcher to start for GT since southpaw Ben Parr did so May 22, 2014, vs. Duke in the ACC Tournament.

BLUE RIBBON ARM
• Junior catcher Arden Pabst threw out 24 would-be base stealers and recorded a caught-stealing percentage of .436 – both figures led the ACC in 2015 and ranked among the NCAA’s best.
• Pabst is the first Georgia Tech catcher to throw out 20 or more runners in a single season since current Baltimore Orioles star Matt Wieters gunned down 22 in 2007.
• As a freshman in 2014, the Sherman Oaks, Calif., native ranked second in the ACC in runners caught stealing (16) and caught-stealing percentage (.410).
• In his first two seasons, Pabst has thrown out 40 would-be base stealers, throwing out runners nearly 43 percent of the time.

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