April 22, 2010
Live Stats: RamblinWreck.com
Live Audio: WREK 91.1 FM
Twitter Updates: Twitter.com/gt_baseball
ATLANTA - No. 3 Georgia Tech (33-5, 15-3 ACC) will close out its eight-game home-stand this weekend, hosting No. 20 Virginia Tech (26-13, 9-9 ACC) for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Russ Chandler Stadium. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday, 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Friday, April 23 (7 p.m.) - Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech - Deck McGuire, Jr., RHP (5-2, 2.84 ERA, 68 K's)
Virginia Tech - Justin Wright, Jr., LHP (4-3, 3.88 ERA, 48 K's)
Saturday, April 24 (4 p.m.) - Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech - Brandon Cumpton, Jr., RHP (6-0, 5.44 ERA, 31 K's)
Virginia Tech - Mathew Price, So., RHP (4-3, 5.94 ERA, 41 K's)
Sunday, April 25 (1 p.m.) - Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech - Jed Bradley, So., LHP (5-2, 3.83 ERA, 62 K's)
Virginia Tech - Jesse Hahn, Jr., RHP (5-2, 2.81 ERA, 64 K's)
Saturday is military day. All members of the military will receive free admission to the game. The Jackets will wear camouflage baseball caps during the game, all of which will be autographed and auctioned off online at a later date. The team will hold a post-game autograph session on Sunday.
The GT radio broadcast can be heard over the air on WREK (91.1), the flagship station of Georgia Tech baseball, and online at RamblinWreck.com. The games can also be heard online, free of charge at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Be sure to tune into the pre-game show 15 minutes before every game as play-by-play commentator Kyle Tait will preview the matchup.
No. 3 Georgia Tech is on a six-game win streak after winning a pair of midweek games against Georgia Southern on Tuesday and Wednesday ... The Jackets have won 11 of their last 13 games, and will look improve on a 15-3 ACC record when they face Virginia Tech this weekend.
The Jackets are ranked as high as No. 3 in three different polls this week (ESPN/USA Today Coaches', Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA).
Virginia Tech returns 21 letterwinners and 16 starters (eight position players) from a 2009 team went 32-21 overall and 12-17 in the ACC (9th overall) ... The Hokies grabbed series wins over then-No. 4 Florida State (4/2-4) and then-No. 9 Miami (4/9-11) before dropping two out of three to then-No.1 Virginia last weekend ... Virginia Tech, currently in 4th-place in the ACC Coastal division, debuted in the top-25 on April 5 for the first time since the 1992 season.
Georgia Tech holds a 15-6 all-time lead in the all-time series against Virginia Tech ... The Jackets are 11-4 against the Hokies in games played in Atlanta, and 14-4 since Danny Hall's arrival on the Flats in 1994.
An 18-8 win in the rubber game lifted Georgia Tech to the series win at English Field in 2009 ... The Jackets plated six runs in the ninth inning for a 10-9 comeback win in game one, before the Hokies evened the series with a 9-5 victory in game two ... GT was ranked No. 3 in the nation during the 2009 series.
Georgia Tech will meet in-state rivals Georgia for the third time this season, when the two teams square off on Tuesday, April 27, in the annual "Spring Classic for Kids" at 7 p.m. at Turner Field.
QUICK NOTES GT holds the best record in the conference at 33-5, and leads the ACC in hitting (.346), while second in pitching (3.49 ERA).
The Jackets entered the week ranked among the top-10 in the country in six different offensive categories: Scoring (3rd, 10.5), Runs (5th, 377), Triples (6th, 19), home runs (3rd, 80.0), slugging percentage (3rd, .615) and Walks (8th, 195).
Junior Jeff Rowland is ranked in the top-10 in two categories himself: runs (5th, 54) and triples (7th, 6.0).
Tech's starting pitchers are 25-4, and have combined for 222 strikeouts in 228.0 innings. Deck McGuire leads the way with 68 strikeouts, the second most in the conference.
McGuire ranks in the top five in the conference in five different categories: wins (5, T-2nd), Innings pitched (66.2, 1st), strikeouts (68, 2nd), Opponent batting average (.221, 4th) and complete games (2, 1st).
Tech has four starting pitchers in the ACC with at least five wins (Jed Bradley, Brandon Cumpton, McGuire and Mark Pope). No other team in the conference has more than two pitchers with five wins. Cumpton and Pope's six wins are tied for the conference lead with Florida State's Sean Gilmartin and Boston College's Kevin Moran.
The Tech bullpen is 8-1 on the year, and 6-for-6 in save opportunities.
Senior Andrew Robinson has allowed just three runs (two earned) in 16 appearances out of the bullpen (21.2 innings) ... He is 4-0 on the year and has recorded three saves.
Sophomore Mark Pope is 6-0 as Tech's midweek starter ... He has struck out 48 batters and walked just five in seven starts.
The Jackets have scored double digit runs 18 times this season, and are third in the nation in scoring at 10.6 runs per game.
Tech has hit a conference-leading 85 home runs this season, an average of 2.2 per game. It is the second most homers in the nation. Eight different players have gone yard at least five times, and four at least 11.
The Jackets have homered in 17 straight games, and 25 of their last 26. Tech has only had four games this season in which it didn't go deep. Senior Tony Plagman leads the ACC with 14 round-trippers this season.
Plagman leads the conference in total bases (114), RBI (51) and slugging percentage (.760), while second in homers.
Junior Derek Dietrich has started 158 consecutive games at shortstop, every game of his career.
Senior outfielder Jay Dantzler has missed 20 games due to a fractured wrist ... Junior right-handed pitcher Kevin Jacob (Tech's closer) has been out for over a month (March 13) with shoulder tendinitis.
"SPRING BASEBALL CLASSIC FOR KIDS"
On April 27 at 7 p.m., Georgia Tech and Georgia will meet at Turner Field for the eighth consecutive year in the annual "Spring Baseball Classic for Kids."
All tickets are $12 with proceeds benefitting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and its Brain and Spinal Cord Tumor Program.
The game has raised more than $200,000 annually for the not-for-profit pediatric healthcare system. Since 2004, there have been more than 20,000 tickets sold annually for each game.
NICHOLS HEATING UP WITH THE WEATHER
Junior Thomas Nichols has been red-hot at the plate in the month of April. Tech's designated hitter is batting .510 (25-for-49) with five doubles, five home runs and 14 RBI this month. He has registered a hit in every game Tech has played in April, and is currently on a career-best 13 game hit streak. He currently leads the team with a .421 clip overall. Not to mention, he hits at the No. 7 spot in the lineup. The Leesburg, Ga. native had a career-high five hits, with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI against Georgia Southern on Wednesday.
TECH ON RECORD PACE FOR HOME RUNS
Through 38 games this season, Georgia Tech has belted 85 home runs, an average of 2.2 per game. If power numbers remain, the Jackets are on pace to hit 125 by the end of the regular season. The record for most home runs in a season is 119, set in 1987.
In 2009, the Jackets hit the second most home runs in school history. Tech belted 111 homers, the most since Hall's arrival in 1994.
Last season's 111 home runs were the third most in the nation.