Georgia Tech Hosts North Carolina in Pivotal ACC Series

May 12, 2011

Game Notes

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech baseball team (35-14, 18-6 ACC), ranked as high as No. 9 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, will close out its home conference slate with a crucial three-game weekend series against nationally-ranked North Carolina (39-10, 16-8 ACC) at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets will face the Tar Heels, also ranked as high as No. 9 (USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll), at 4 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Sunday’s game will be televised live by CSS.

Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina)
Friday: RHP Mark Pope (10-2, 1.27, 92.1 IP, 75 SO) vs. RHP Patrick Johnson (8-1, 3.10, 69.2 IP, 79 SO)
Saturday: LHP Jed Bradley (6-2, 2.63, 75.1 IP, 83 SO) vs. LHP Kent Emanuel (6-1, 2.73, 66.0 IP, 59 SO)
Sunday: RHP Buck Farmer (8-2, 3.10, 78.1 IP, 77 SO) vs. RHP Chris Munnelly (5-3, 3.91, 53.0 IP, 46 SO)

FRIDAY START MOVED TO 4 P.M.
Friday’s game has been moved up to a 4 p.m. start from its originally scheduled 7 p.m. first pitch due to impending weather in the forecast for the Atlanta area.

FOND FAREWELL
On Sunday, four seniors — Zach Brewster (LHP), Kevin Jacob (RHP, Jeff Ussery (OF) and Taylor Wood (LHP) — will celebrate their final weekend game on the Flats. Each Yellow Jacket player will be honored in a pregame ceremony at Russ Chandler Stadium.

BROADCAST INFORMATION
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. Sunday’s game will be televised live by CSS. Matt Stewart (Play-by-Play) and Randy Carroll (Color) will have the call.

SERIES PREVIEW

Georgia Tech (35-14, 18-16 ACC) enters the week ranked as highas No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game USAtop-25 polls. The Jackets are also ranked in the USA Today/ESPNCoaches’ (13), Baseball America (13) and National CollegiateBaseball Writer’s Association (15) polls. The Jackets are comingoff an 11-3 win over Savannah State on Tuesday, and have won fourstraight since dropping an ACC road series at Clemson April 29-May1 … Tech has won 10 of its 12 weekend series this season … TheJackets remain second place in the ACC Coastal Division, two gamesbehind division leader Virginia. Friday’s game will mark the 118thall-time meeting between the two school’s in a series dating backto 1901 … Tech swept the series in Chapel Hill last season.Sunday is “Senior Day” … The Jackets will honor their fourseniors — Zach Brewster, Kevin Jacob, Jeff Ussery and Taylor Wood – in a pregame ceremony. North Carolina (39-10,16-8 ACC) returns 20 letterwinners and nine starters (five positionplayers) from a 2010 team that went 38-22 overall, finished fifthin the ACC Coastal Division (14-16) and reached the NCAA NormanRegional. The Tar Heels are coming off a pair of wins over UNCWilmington (11-5) on Tuesday and UNC Asheville (4-2) on Wednesdayin midweek play … Mike Fox’s squad is currently on an eight-gamewin streak with Wednesday victory … The Heels’ are currently infourth place in the ACC Coastal Division, two games behind theJackets and one behind Miami.

SERIES HISTORY
Georgia Tech holds a 64-53 advantage in the all-time series … Tech won all three meetings in 2010 at Boshamer Stadium, winning 2-1 and 13-5 to clinch the series before an 11-8, 10-inning comeback game in the finale … The Jackets own a 31-25 advantage in games played in Atlanta … UNC won two of three against the Jackets at Russ Chandler Stadium in 2009 … Head coach Danny Hall is 34-22 against UNC since arriving on the Flats in 1994.

Last Meeting: Derek Dietrich’s two-run homer capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning, and tied the game at 8-8, before the third-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team scored three more in the 10th for an 11-8 win over North Carolina on March 28, 2010 at Boshamer Stadium.

The Jackets extended their win-streak to seven games, and swept North Carolina for the first time since the 2000 season. It was the first time the Tar Heels had been swept at home since the 2003 season, and the first time Tech won all three in Chapel Hill since 1997.

QUICK HITS

Georgia Tech currently ranks third in the Atlantic CoastConference in hitting (.310) while holding the second lowest ERA at2.71 … The pitching staff’s 8.7 strikeouts per nine innings arethe seventh best in the land, while the team’s ERA is seventh andhits allowed per nine innings are 12th. The Jackets are outscoringopponents 335-181 this season, and are averaging 10.9 hits and 6.8runs per game. Tech has recorded multiple hits in 31 of the 49games on the season, and in four of the last six. Freshmancenterfielder Kyle Wren leads the ACC in hits (77) while third in battingaverage (.376) and fifth in runs scored (48) … Wren has 23multi-hit games this season, and has reached base safely in 46 ofthe 49 games. Tech’s three weekend pitchers – Mark Pope, Jed Bradley and Buck Farmer – have combined for a 24-6 record and a 2.27 ERA… Pope is leads the ACC in four different categories, includingwins (10) and innings pitched (92.1) … His 1.27 ERA is the secondlowest in the conference and the seventh best in the nation … The10 wins rank third. Bradley has allowed just four runs (threeearned) in his last three starts (22.0 IP) – all wins. Georgia Techhas won 13 of its last 15 weekend series, including 10 of 12 thisseason … The team has swept five of them. The Jackets won 16straight games from March 4 to March 29, their longest streak sincethe 2006 season. Seventeen of Georgia Tech’s 34 players on theroster are freshmen … All 17 have played this season while 10have made at least one start.

YELLOW JACKETS IN THE RPI

Georgia Tech is currently ranked No. 9 in the latest NCAA RPIrankings (as of May 10)… The Jackets are also No. 9 in the latestPseudo-RPI (source: BoydsWorld.com). The Atlantic Coast Conferenceis well represented in the RPI, with six teams ranked among the top25 in the nation. Virginia, ranked No. 2 in the country in the RPI,leads all conference teams while North Carolina (3), Florida State(6), Clemson (8), Georgia Tech (9) and Miami (22) all rank in thetop 25.

UP NEXT
Georgia Tech hosts East Tennessee State on Tuesday then concludes its 2011 regular-season schedule with a trip to Blacksburg, Va., to take on Virginia Tech. North Carolina hosts Appalachian State on Tuesday then finishes its ’11 season with a home weekend series against ACC Coastal leader Virginia.

HALL CLOSING IN ON 300 CONFERENCE VICTORIES
Head Coach Danny Hall has an opportunity to make history this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium, as he sits two wins away from 300 conference victories. Hall brings a career record of 298-162-1 in ACC play into the series (a .648 winning percentage). Only three coaches in ACC history have ever reached the 300 conference wins plateau — Bill Wilhelm of Clemson, the all-time leader at 378, Florida State’s Mike Martin (358), and Clemson’s Jack Leggett (300). Hall, who has never had a losing season in ACC play, has already extended his streak of 15-win seasons to nine.

BARD TO FACE FAMILIAR FOE THIS WEEKEND
Sophomore closer Luke Bard (21 APP, 37.2 IP, 2-2, 3.58 ERA, 6 Saves) has become real familiar with the Yellow Jackets’ opposition this weekend. Bard grew up in Charlotte, N.C., and is the brother of current Boston Red Sox setup man Daniel Bard. Daniel was an All-American pitcher at North Carolina in 2004 and 2005. Luke made two relief appearances against the Tar Heels during his freshman season in 2010, not allowing any hits in two innings out of the bullpen.

BRADLEY FINDS A GROOVE
Junior left-hander Jed Bradley (6-2) has been sharp in his last three starts (all wins), allowing just four runs (three earned) in 22 innings. Each start has lasted at least six innings, while he tossed his first career collegiate complete game in a 5-1 win over then-No. 18 Clemson. The Huntsville, Ala. native is holding opposing hitters to a .222 average during the stretch. Bradley is 6-2 with a 2.63 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings this season.

HYDE GETTING HOT AT THE PLATE
Second baseman Mott Hyde is finishing on a torrid streak. Hyde is hitting .571 (8-for-14) over his last four games. In the streak he has three multi-hit games, including a pair of 3-for-3 games, has scored five runs (one in each game), and has driven in eight runs, including a career-best five in Tech’s last game against Savannah State. The hot streak came on the heels of a two-week stretch that saw him go 2-for-24. The second baseman leads the team in fielding double plays this season with 30.

WEEKEND THREE ARE KEY
Georgia Tech’s weekend rotation of Mark Pope, Jed Bradley and Buck Farmer has keyed the team’s success so far this season. The 1-2-3 punch is a combined 24-6, with a collective 2.27 ERA (62 earned runs in 246 innings). Pope leads the crew in wins (10) and ERA (1.27) while Bradley leads the crew in strikeouts with 83.

QUALITY AND QUANTITY
Quality starts (six innings pitched, three or fewer runs allowed) are pretty much the norm for Georgia Tech starters. Heading into this weekend, Yellow Jackets hurlers have 27 quality starts in 36 appearances. Pope is almost a given, as he has 11 and hasn’t had a start shorter than six innings all season. Bradley has eight quality starts, with seven over his last nine starts (including three in a row). Farmer has six on the season, and three in his last four starts. That means a lot of innings pitched. All three starters are in the top 10 in the ACC, as Pope leads the conference with 92 1/3, Farmer is fourth with 78 1/3 and Bradley seventh with 75 1/3.

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