@GT_Baseball Weekly Recap #5

March 18, 2013

Overall Record: 17-2
ACC Record: 5-1
Winning/Losing Streak: W3

Past Week: 3-0
3/15: W, 12-5 vs. Boston College… Tech scored the game’s final eight runs and took the lead for good in the 6th thanks to Daniel Palka’s RBI single
3/16: W, 11-3 vs. Boston College… Zane Evans drove in four runs with a triple and a homer and Isaacs fanned six in seven four-hit innings
3/17: W, 9-1 vs. Boston College… Evans drove in three more runs and Tech pulled away with seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings

Coming Week
3/19: vs. Georgia Southern (Atlanta, Ga.), 6 p.m./ESPN3
3/22: at Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.), 6 p.m./ESPN3
3/23: at Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.), 6 p.m./ESPN3
3/24: at Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.), 1 p.m./ESPN3

NATION’S HIGHEST SCORING OFFENSE: Through 19 games, Georgia Tech has scored 190 runs, and at 10.0 runs per game, the Yellow Jackets lead the nation in scoring. Tech has reached the double-digit mark in runs 13 times in 19 games and is undefeated when doing so. The Jackets were in double-figures just 11 times total in 2012.

MORE ON THE OFFENSE: With a .355 team average, Tech leads the ACC in hitting by 44 points over Virginia (.311)… The Jackets also lead the ACC in OBP (.438), slugging (.526), runs (190), hits (245), home runs (20) and sac flies (16)… Four Jackets are among the league’s top seven in hitting, including ACC leaders Brandon Thomas (.479) and Daniel Palka (.449)… Zane Evans’ eight homers lead the ACC… Thomas is tied for league lead in runs (29)… Evans (30), Palka (28) and Matt Gonzalez (27) are the league’s top three in RBI… Evans (.789) and Palka (.725) pace the league in slugging percentage.

EVANS NAMED ACC PLAYER OF THE WEEK, AGAIN: Junior C Zane Evans drove in nine of Tech’s 32 runs during a dominant weekend sweep in Atlanta and was named the ACC Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks. Evans finished the week hitting .467 (7-for-15) with five runs, a team-best nine RBI, two doubles, two home runs and a triple. He slugged a team-best 1.133, played error-free at catcher and gunned down one of BC’s two steal attempts on the weekend. His two-run homer on Friday broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning and would stand as the game-winner. He scored twice more Friday as Tech pulled away late. Saturday he smacked his second career triple in the first inning to give Tech a 1-0 lead, and then followed later with his ACC-leading eighth homer – a three-run shot – in the 11-3 rout. Sunday, his two-run single in the seventh inning helped blow open Tech’s 2-1 lead en route to the 9-1 win. Evans has hit safely in 12-consecutive games and has reached base at least once in 18-straight. Over his 12-game hitting streak, Evans is hitting .510 (26-for-51), is slugging 1.039, has hit seven of his eight homers and accounted for 23 RBI.

WELL-ROUNDED: Georgia Tech continues to lead the ACC in fielding percentage at .978, and has allowed the third-fewest stolen bases in the league (13).

TECH MATCHES BEST START UNDER HALL: Georgia Tech’s 17-2 record ties the best 19-game start in the 20 seasons under head coach Danny Hall. The Jackets have started 17-2 in five other seasons under Hall (1997, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2010) and in each of those campaigns, Tech finished with no less than 44 wins and reached an NCAA Regional. The Jackets reached the College World Series in 2006, a Super Regional in 2005, won ACC Regular Season titles in 1997 and 2005 and an ACC Tournament crown in 2003.

O IN THE A: There’s no lack offense in Atlanta these days, as Georgia Tech and city rival Georgia State are ranked first and second in the NCAA in scoring. The Jackets’ NCAA-leading 10.0 runs per game average is followed closely by the Panthers’ 9.65 average. Tech beat Georgia State, 16-5, in late February.

HOTTEST OF THE HOT: On a team full of red-hot bats, senior CF Brandon Thomas has been swinging the hottest. The Atlanta native has hit safely in 11 consecutive games, including seven straight multi-hit contests. Thomas is hitting .594 (19-for-32) over the last seven games with five doubles, a triple, a homer, four walks and two strikeouts. At .479 overall, he leads the ACC in batting by 30 points — over teammate Daniel Palka. Thomas is tied for first in the ACC in runs (29) and second in on-base percentage (.557).

STREAKIN’: Five Yellow Jackets bring notable hitting streaks into the week, led by the 14-game streak from freshman 2B Matt Gonzalez. Zane Evans has hit safely in 12 games, followed by Brandon Thomas (11 games), Kyle Wren (8) and Daniel Palka (6). Additionally, Palka and Thomas have reached base at least once in every game this season, and Evans has been on base in every game but the season opener.

THE GREAT GONZO: Freshman 2B Matt Gonzalez brings an ACC-leading 14-game hitting streak into the week. Hitting .423 in ACC play, Gonzalez is 12th in the league and the only freshman ranked among the top 20. His .390 overall average is fourth on the team and seventh in the conference. The Acworth, Ga., rookie has been held hitless just once this season (Feb. 23 vs. St. John’s).

QUALITY AND QUANTITY: Tech’s weekend rotation of Buck Farmer, Dusty Isaacs and Cole Pitts have already logged nine quality starts (at least 6.0 innings, allowing three runs or less) in their 15 combined starts this season. Although Farmer had his streak of quality starts snapped at four versus Boston College Friday, Isaacs (7.0 IP, 2 R) and Pitts (6.2 IP, 1 R) each stepped up on the weekend. Farmer has four quality starts this season, while Pitts has three and Isaacs two.

BULLISH BULLPEN: Georgia Tech’s bullpen was at its best in the sweep of Boston College, logging 7.1 innings of relief and allowing just four hits and one run. On the season, Tech relievers are 5-0 with two saves and pitching to a 3.20 ERA, led by a 1.50 ERA in 12.0 innings from freshman lefty Jonathan King.

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