Georgia Tech Opens NCAA Tournament Play vs. Georgia State

May 29, 2009

* TOURNAMENT CENTRAL WEBSITE

* Two Yellow Jackets Placed on Louisville Slugger All-America Teams
* McGuire Named Finalist for Golden Spikes Award
* Dietrich Receives Academic All-America Accolades
* Five Jackets Named All-ACC, McGuire Tabbed ACC Pitcher of the Year
*Complete Release in PDF Format

ATLANTA – Georgia Tech, the nation’s 13th-ranked team according to USA Today, is playing in an NCAA Regional for the 23rd time in the last 25 years and hosts the NCAA Atlanta Regional this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium.

The regional begins at 3 p.m. Friday when Southern Conference runner-up and #2 seed Elon (40-16) meets third-seeded Southern Miss (35-23) of Conference USA. The top-seeded Yellow Jackets (35-17-1) play #4 seed Georgia State, the Colonial Athletic Association champion, at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Yellow Jackets are hosting an NCAA Regional for the seventh time since 2000 and for the ninth time in history.

This Friday, Hall will be coaching in his 1,000th game as the Yellow Jacket skipper, and he owns the school record with 687 victories since his arrival on the Flats in 1994.

This season, the Yellow Jackets lead the Atlantic Coast Conference in home runs (104), RBI (438) and runs scored (8.66 per game). Tech has scored in double figures 21 times in 2009.

Senior RF Luke Murton (.363AVG-18HR-57RBI-4SB), junior 1B Tony Plagman (.357-16-67-4) and freshman 3B Matt Skole (.301-15-50-2) are powering the Yellow Jacket offense in 2009, while sophomore OF/DH Chase Burnette (.376-8-28-1), CF Jeff Rowland (.348-8-35-18) and senior LF Chris House (.315-3-22-1) have been hot of late.

2009 NCAA Atlanta Regional Complete Schedule

Friday  3 p.m.  Game 2: No. 2 Elon vs. No. 3 Southern Miss        7 p.m.  Game 1: No. 1 Georgia Tech vs. No. 4 Georgia StateSaturday3 p.m.  Game 3: Loser, Game 1 vs. Loser, Game 2        7 p.m.  Game 4: Winner, Game 1 vs. Winner, Game 2Sunday  3 p.m.  Game 5: Winner, Game 3 vs. Loser, Game 4        7 p.m.  Game 6: Winner, Game 4 vs. Winner, Game 5Monday  7 p.m.  (If Necessary) Game 7: Same teams

Regional Coverage

All of Georgia Tech’s NCAA Atlanta Regional games can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), while live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.

Georgia Tech vs. the NCAA Field

Georgia Tech’s all-time NCAA Tournament record is 56-49, and the Yellow Jackets are 52-44 in NCAA Regional and Super Regional play.

Georgia Tech is making its 23rd NCAA Regional appearance in the last 25 years and 25th overall appearance in this weekend’s NCAA Atlanta Regional. The Yellow Jackets have captured six regional championships (1994, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006) and have three College World Series appearances (1994, 2002, 2006).

The Yellow Jackets are 17-7 in regional games played at Russ Chandler Stadium

Georgia Tech went 13-13-1 against the NCAA Championship field during the 2009 season. (GT vs. Boston College, 1-1; vs. Clemson, 1-2; vs. Florida State, 3-1; vs. Georgia, 1-1; vs. Georgia Southern, 2-2; vs. Georgia State, 1-1; vs. Miami, 2-2; vs. North Carolina, 1-2; vs. Virginia, 1-1-1).

Tech vs. NCAA Atlanta Regional Opponents

vs. Elon – Georgia Tech leads, 3-0, with all three games coming in Atlanta … Two of the three wins came under head coach Danny Hall, with the last meeting coming in a two-game series in 2001 … Series began in 1984 … Tech and Elon have never met in NCAA Regional play.

vs. Southern Miss – Tech and Southern Miss have never met on the baseball diamond.

vs. Georgia State – Georgia Tech leads, 53-8, in a series that dates to 1971 … Tech is 30-3 against the Panthers at Russ Chandler Stadium and 29-4 since head coach Danny Hall’s arrival in 1994 … The Jackets and Panthers split this year’s regular season series, 1-1, with each team winning on the road … Tech has won four of the last five games … The two teams have never met in the postseason.

Haniger Tabbed Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalist

While catcher Jason Haniger continues to rack up athletic and academic honors, the senior has been recognized for his work off the field and away from the classroom as well. On April 15, Haniger was named one of 10 finalists for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes exceptional senior baseball student-athletes that excel in the classroom and competition but also give back to the community and are of honorable character. A portion of the vote is decided by fans, who can log onto www.seniorclassaward.com daily (through Sunday) to vote, or they may text BSB6 to 839863.

Power Surge

The Yellow Jackets have smacked an ACC-leading 104 home runs this season, which ranks fifth in the nation and third all-time in school history.

The Jackets have eclipsed the 90-home run mark just 11 times since the program’s inception in the late 1890’s, with seven of those seasons coming under head coach Danny Hall. The Yellow Jackets hit home runs Nos. 100 and 101 in the regular season finale at Duke, marking just the second time since Hall’s arrival that Tech reached the century mark. With three more round-trippers in the ACC Tournament, the 2009 squad moved into third for most home runs in season at Georgia Tech, and the 104 home runs are the most by any Yellow Jacket team coached by Hall.

Tech’s 104 homers have come in 53 games (the fewest played by any ACC school this season), to give the Yellow Jackets an average of 1.96 home runs per game – the second-best mark in the country in 2009. The team that leads the nation in home runs and home runs per game? That would be none other than Elon – one of the three teams visiting Atlanta for the regional this weekend.

Tech is 34-9 this season when a Yellow Jacket hits a home run and 1-8-1 without.

Leading Off … News & Notes on the Yellow Jackets

BALANCE OF POWER: The Yellow Jackets have been blessed with a talented lineup in which nearly any player can hit one out of the park on any given day. Nine different Yellow Jackets have hit at least four home runs this season, led by the talented trio of Luke Murton (18), Tony Plagman (16) and Matt Skole (15), while 17 different players have hit home runs in 2009 – including 13 that have smacked more than one.

WAVING THEM IN: The Jackets have scored in bunches this season, and their average of 8.66 runs per game ranks 22nd in the nation and first among all league schools. The majority of those runs have come off extra-base hits by the Yellow Jackets, and Tech ranks 12th in the nation in slugging percentage with 102 doubles, 16 triples and 104 home runs this season. Thirty-six (36) percent of the Yellow Jackets’ hits have gone for extra bases this season.

SITTING THEM DOWN: Not to be outdone by the offense, Tech’s young pitching staff has been masterful of sitting down the opponent by striking out an average of 9.09 batters per game, which is the 12th-best mark in the nation, third-best in the ACC, and third-highest in a season by the Yellow Jackets.

YOUTH ON THE PITCHING STAFF: Georgia Tech has only three returning upperclassmen pitchers (excluding Patrick Long, a junior that is in his first year toeing the rubber for the Yellow Jackets) on the staff – juniors Sean Devine, Andrew Robinson and Zach Von Tersch. Robinson, Von Tersch and sophomores Deck McGuire and Brandon Cumpton are the only pitchers on the Tech staff with at least 100 career innings pitched. (Robinson eclipsed 100 innings last weekend at the ACC Championships.)

YOUNG ROTATION SETS THE TONE: Of Tech’s three starting pitchers, only one has reached 20 years of age (Brandon Cumpton – 20 years, six months) while the other two are still teenagers – but youth hasn’t stopped the trio from posting strong 2009 campaigns. Deck McGuire received the league’s top pitching honor in this, his sophomore season, after going 10-0 with 101 strikeouts in the regular season; Brandon Cumpton, like McGuire, moved into the weekend starting rotation after spending his first season on the Flats (2008) as a midweek starter and has gone 4-2 while combining on two shutouts in 2009; and Jed Bradley, in his first college season, has started eight games for the Yellow Jackets. The trio has combined for a 16-6 record while striking out 213 in 193.1 innings of work.

HOLDING OPPONENTS TO SIX OR LESS: Georgia Tech is 29-6-1 on the season when holding opponents to six or fewer runs. The Yellow Jackets have scored over six runs 28 times this season and are averaging 8.66 runs per game in 2009.

ANOTHER TOP-10 ATTENDANCE RECORD: With 24,665 fans on hand to see Georgia Tech take on Georgia at Turner Field in mid-May, the Yellow Jackets posted the sixth-best attendance mark in NCAA baseball history, while it was the second-highest attendance in the history of the annual Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Baseball Classic. The Jackets and Bulldogs also own the second-highest NCAA attendance mark, with 28,836 fans attending the 2004 game at Turner Field.

Hall Takes the Field for 1,000th Time as Tech Skipper

When head coach Danny Hall takes the field Friday night against Georgia State, it will be his 1,000th appearance in a Tech uniform. He is already Tech’s winningest head baseball coach, and the only skipper to guide the Jackets to Omaha. Now in his 16th year at the helm, Hall is 13 wins shy of his 700th in a Tech uniform and needs just five more victories to eclipse 900 for his career.

On the Mound

ROCKIN ROBINSON: Junior Andrew Robinson may have had a rocky start to the 2009 season, but the right-hander has been tough as nails of late – he owns a 0.82 ERA in his seven May appearances. He’s also struck out 11 batters in that 11.0 inning span, and he hasn’t allowed a run in his last four outings (5.1 innings). With his three appearances in the ACC Championship, Robinson has appeared in a total of 69 games in his three-year career on the Flats, which places him 17th in Tech’s record book for game appearances.

THRIVING UNDER PRESSURE: When the pressure is on, head coach Danny Hall has his pick of bullpen pitchers that have proven time and time again that they can get the Jackets out of jams. Junior Andrew Robinson, sophomores Zach Brewster and Kevin Jacob and freshmen Jake Davies and Mark Pope have been those pitchers Hall has turned to when the heat is on. For the season, Davies has inherited a team-high 31 runners, allowing just four to score. He has stranded a streak of 12-straight on base. Thirty runners have been on base when Brewster has entered a game, and only six of those 30 have crossed the plate. That being said, the last 10 runners have all been stranded by Brewster. Pope (4-of-21) and Robinson (8-of-20) have combined to strand their last four runners on base, while Jacob hasn’t allowed any of the 11 runners he’s inherited to score.

BREW-IN’ IN THE BULLPEN: Speaking of Zach Brewster, after entering his sophomore season with just one game appearance under his belt, some have been surprised to see that he leads the 2009 squad with 31 game appearances this season, which ranks tied for 11th for most in a single year on the Flats. The Murrayville, Ga., native missed the majority of last season recovering from offseason surgery to remove a blood clot and, subsequently, a rib, but he has returned to lead the bullpen with a 3.19 ERA this season. Over his last 14 games, Brewster has posted a 1.80 ERA, allowing just three earned runs while striking out 22 in 15.0 innings of work.

SAVED BY THE POPE: Right-hander Mark Pope has been one of the players head coach Danny Hall has turned to for closing out games this season. The freshman hasn’t disappointed either – posting a 5-1 record with seven saves this season. Pope’s seven saves are tied for the 10th-best single-season mark in school history and tied for 13th in Tech’s career record books.

RELATED HEADLINES

Georgia Tech Opens NCAA Tournament Play vs. Georgia State
October 31, 2018 English’s Three Homers Give Team White 5-2 Win

Tristin English finishes 3-for-4, three HRs, 5 RBI, 3 runs in fall finale

Georgia Tech Opens NCAA Tournament Play vs. Georgia State
October 30, 2018 Rosters, Coaches Set for White vs. Gold World Series

McCann, Ca. Hall to head up Gold, White teams