Birds and the Bees, Part IV in ACC Championship First Round

May 23, 2016


2016 ACC CHAMPIONSHIP FIRST ROUND
GAME 56: GEORGIA TECH VS. BOSTON COLLEGE

TUESDAY, MAY 24 // 3 P.M. // DURHAM BULLS ATHLETIC PARK // DURHAM, N.C.
TV: RSN/FOX Sports Southeast // RADIO: WREK 91.1 FM / SIRIUS 106 / XM 193
#9 SEED GEORGIA TECH (35-20)
2016 ACC Record: 13-16
2016 Neutral Site Record: 1-0
Head Coach: Danny Hall (Miami – Ohio, 1977)
   Career Record: 1,166-589-1 (29th year)
   Record at GT: 958-472-1 (23rd year)
   Record in ACC Championship: 46-34
Tuesday SP: RHP Brandon Gold (7-3, 2.55 ERA)
#8 SEED BOSTON COLLEGE (31-19)
2016 ACC Record: 13-15
2016 Neutral Site Record: 11-2
Head Coach: Mike Gambino (Boston College, 1999)
   Career Record: 131-178 (6th year)
   Record at BC: Same
   Record in ACC Championship: 0-0
Tuesday SP: RHP Mike King (7-4, 3.18 ERA)
Games Notes // 2016 Information Guide // @GTBaseball on Twitter // Listen Live

LEADING OFF: STORYLINES TO KNOW

  1. Tuesday will be the fourth straight game between Georgia Tech and Boston College. It marks the first time the Yellow Jackets ended the regular season and opened the ACC Championship with the same opponent since 2006.
  2. Georgia Tech is making its 23rd straight ACC Championship appearance under head coach Danny Hall, who owns a 46-34 ACC postseason mark and five tournament titles.
  3. Junior P Brandon Gold is 3-1 in his last four starts on the mound, including victories over top-15 teams Coastal Carolina and Miami. Gold has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 11 of his 14 starts (7-1 in those games).
  4. In the month of May, sophomore 2B Wade Bailey is batting a team-best .421 (19-for-44) with a team-high 19 hits (18 singles). Bailey’s .400-hitting in the last 10 games comes on the heels of hitting .231 in a 29-game streak in March and April.
  5. Georgia Tech has won their 93 consecutive games when leading after eight innings. Tech is 30-0 this season when taking a lead into the ninth inning.
  6. Georgia Tech outfielders have an ACC-best 21 assists this season. Senior LF Matt Gonzalez’s has nine outfield assists, including seven that have resulted in outs at home.
  7. While Georgia Tech leads the nation with 71 double plays, it’s been 2B Wade Bailey and SS Connor Justus involved in most of them. Bailey and Justus have combined to turn 40 of Tech’s 71 double plays. Either Bailey or Connor has been involved in 65 of Tech’s 71 double plays.
  8. Georgia Tech is 33-3 when allowing fewer than eight runs in a game this season. Tech has allowed eight or more runs 19 times this season (2-17 in those games).
  9. Senior OF Matt Gonzalez is the NCAA’s active leader in career hits (287) and sacrifice flies (22). Gonzalez is currently tied Jay Payton (1992-94) for fifth with 287 career hits. He needs 13 to become only the third Tech player in school history to amass 300 career hits.
  10. Sophomore Wade Bailey is one of the toughest Yellow Jackets to strike out in 2016 (once every 11.15 at bats). In 104 career games, Bailey has struck out only 36 times in 423 at bats. Bailey’s career at bat-to-strikeout ratio of 11.75 ranks him eighth on Georgia Tech’s all-time list.

BIRDS AND THE BEES, PART IV
• Tuesday will be the fourth straight game between Georgia Tech and Boston College. Last week in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets won the series opener (6-3) but then suffered back-to-back 8-3 and 7-6 losses in Saturday’s doubleheader.
• It marks the first time the Jackets ended the regular season and opened the ACC Championship with the same opponent since 2006. That season, the Jackets closed the season with a series win over Miami in Atlanta. Four days later, the Jackets beat Miami 2-1 to open the ACC Championship.

THE ROAD TO OMAHA
• Georgia Tech’s national title hopes begin this week at the ACC Baseball Championship in Durham, N.C. Tech is making its 23rd straight ACC Championship appearance under head coach Danny Hall, who owns a 46-34 ACC postseason mark and five tournament titles.
• Georgia Tech is 77-55 all-time in the ACC Championship with nine tournament titles.
• Georgia Tech is 0-1 vs. Boston College in the ACC Championship (only other meeting in 2009).
• Georgia Tech is 4-2 vs. Miami in the ACC Championship (last tournament meeting in 2014).
• Georgia Tech is 9-8 vs. Florida State in the ACC Championship (last tournament meeting in 2013).
• Georgia Tech is 13-11 vs. NC State in the ACC Championship (last tournament meeting in 2011).

THAT’S GOLD, JERRY! GOLD!
• Junior P Brandon Gold is 3-1 in his last four starts on the mound, including victories over top-15 teams Coastal Carolina (April 29) and Miami (May 7).
• Gold has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 11 of his 14 starts (7-1 in those games).
• Nine of Gold’s 14 starts have gone at least 7.0 innings, including two 8.0-inning appearances vs. UMBC (Feb. 26) and Coastal Carolina (April 29).
• While Gold’s record is 7-3, the Yellow Jackets are 10-4 when Gold starts on the mound.

BAILEY’S MARCH TO MAY
• In the month of May, sophomore 2B Wade Bailey is batting a team-best .421 (19-for-44) with a team-high 19 hits (18 singles). Bailey’s .400-hitting in the last 10 games comes on the heels of hitting .231 in a 29-game streak in March and April.
• Bailey opened the 2016 season with a 14-game hitting streak. During that streak, Bailey hit .387 with a team-best-tying 24 hits.

CJ NAMED HOWSER TROPHY SEMIFINALIST
• Georgia Tech junior SS Connor Justus is a semifinalist for the 2016 Dick Howser Trophy, an award given to the top player in collegiate baseball.
• Justus is the fifth Georgia Tech player to be named a Dick Howser Trophy semifinalist or finalist – Jason Varitek (1994, winner), Mark Teixeira (2000, winner), Zane Evans (2013, semifinalist), and Daniel Palka (2013, semifinalist).
• The Cartersville, Ga., native is one of 43 semifinalists and one of a nation-leading 13 semifinalists hailing from the ACC.

KEL-0. GOODBYE.
• Following a Freshman All-American season in 2015, OF/DH Kel Johnson is not experiencing a sophomore slump. He has bested all of his offensive numbers from a season ago, hitting a career-best .340 with a team-leading 11 home runs and 51 RBI.
• Of his 21 career home runs, only five have come outside of Russ Chandler Stadium, including his last two home runs at Virginia and vs. Georgia (at Turner Field).

NO LOOKING BACK
• Georgia Tech has won their 93 consecutive games when leading after eight innings. Tech is 30-0 this season – and 13-0 in ACC play – when taking a lead into the ninth inning.
• Georgia Tech has not lost a game when leading after eight innings since April 26, 2013, when the Jackets lost 4-3 at Clemson in 11 innings.

WHERE ARE YOU GOING?
• Georgia Tech outfielders have an ACC-best 21 assists this season. Tech’s 21 outfield assists are second-most nationally behind only Prairie View A&M (24).
• Senior LF Matt Gonzalez’s nine outfield assists are tied for fourth nationally. Seven of Gonzalez’s nine assists have led to outs at home plate.
• Junior CF Ryan Peurifoy ranks second on the team with six outfield assists, including two huge throwouts at home against Virginia.

NO SOUP FOR YOU!
• Georgia Tech junior Matthew Gorst is among the best closers in college baseball. Gorst is 1-1 with 11 saves and a microscopic 0.49 ERA in 37.0 innings this season.
• More impressive is that Gorst’s home and road statistics are nearly identical. At home, Gorst is 0-0 with a 0.48 ERA and six saves in 18.1 innings. On the road, Gorst is 1-1 with a 0.48 ERA and five saves in 18.2 innings. A third of those innings came in a stellar 6.1 scoreless innings performance May 15 at Virginia (a Gorst win).

GOING GONZO
• Senior OF Matt Gonzalez is the NCAA’s active leader in career hits (287) and sacrifice flies (22).
• Gonzalez is currently tied Jay Payton (1992-94) for fifth with 287 career hits. He needs 13 to become only the third Tech player in school history to amass 300 career hits.
• Gonzalez is tied for Tech’s career record for sacrifice flies with Jason Basil (1998-2001).
• He is currently seventh on Tech’s career doubles list and is one shy of tying former major leaguer Nomar Garciaparra (1992-94) for sixth.

A TOUGH ONE TO CRACK
• Sophomore Wade Bailey is one of the toughest Yellow Jackets to strike out in 2016 (once every 11.15 at bats). In 104 career games, Bailey has struck out only 36 times in 423 at bats.
• Bailey’s career at bat-to-strikeout ratio of 11.75 ranks him eighth on Georgia Tech’s all-time list behind Jim Giuliani (11.87), who is in seventh. With his 400th career at-bat, Bailey passed Nomar Garciaparra (10.84) for eighth in school history.

APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY HOME RUNS
• The month of May has brought a power surge to Georgia Tech’s offense. In the last 10 games, the Yellow Jackets have hit 18 home runs – an average of 1.8 dingers per game.
• Eight different Yellow Jackets have a home run in the last seven games. Sophomore 3B Trevor Craport and senior LF Matt Gonzalez lead Tech’s power surge with four home runs each.
• Before this month’s surge, Tech had 41 home runs through the first 45 games – an average of 0.91 home runs per game.

#DOUBLETROUBLE
• While Georgia Tech leads the nation with 71 double plays, it’s been 2B Wade Bailey and SS Connor Justus involved in most of them. Bailey and Justus have combined to turn 40 of Tech’s 71 double plays. Either Bailey or Connor has been involved in 65 of Tech’s 71 double plays.

ANOTHER KILLER G?
• Georgia Tech’s starter/reliever combo of Brandon Gold and Matthew Gorst have garnered most of the attention on the Yellow Jackets’ pitching staff. But, another ‘G’ has emerged as viable threat to opposing batters, freshman Keyton Gibson.
• Gibson has made 17 appearances this season, five as a starter and 12 as a reliever. Gibson might be best suited as a middle reliever as the rookie has allowed only one earned run in 20.1 innings with a 2-0 record and a 1.33 ERA. By comparison, he is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in 16.0 innings as a starter.

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