No. 19 Yellow Jackets Host Western Carolina, Kennesaw State Midweek

March 3, 2008

ATLANTA – The 19th-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (7-1) hosts Western Carolina (3-4) and Kennesaw State (4-6) for single midweek games before opening Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend against Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets will welcome back a familiar face Tuesday when Western Carolina and first-year head coach Bobby Moranda arrive at Russ Chandler Stadium for a 4 p.m. game. Wednesday’s game against the Owls is also scheduled for a 4 p.m. first pitch.

Game Coverage: Tuesday’s game can be followed on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv) and WREK Radio while Wednesday’s contest can be found exclusively on ACC Select. Live stats for both games will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.

Game Promotions – $1 Weekdays – Fans can get popcorn at both games for just $1

Tech is ranked 19th in the nation according to the latest Collegiate Baseball poll after cracking the top-25 preseason poll for the 15th time under head coach Danny Hall. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a series win against Rutgers this past weekend after earning a 6-0 victory against the Scarlet Knights in Sunday’s rubber game.

The Yellow Jacket pitching corps has carried Georgia Tech in 2008, holding opponents to a .196 batting average while allowing just 2.0 runs per game (1.68 ERA). Six different pitchers have earned wins through the first eight games of the 2008 season.

Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Western Carolina/Kennesaw State)
Tuesday: RHP Deck McGuire (1-0, 1.12) vs. TBA
Wednesday: RHP Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Chad Jenkins (1-1, 2.45)

Georgia Tech’s offense is led by junior RF/DH Charlie Blackmon (.382, 1 HR, 7 RBI), sophomore 1B Tony Plagman (.370, 2, 7) and freshman 2B Thomas Nichols (.364, 1, 5).

The Teams of Late

Georgia Tech – The Yellow Jackets are coming off a pair of series sweeps against Youngstown State (three games) and Georgia Southern (two games) and another series win (2-1) vs. Rutgers to open the 2008 campaign. Tech’s lone loss came in an 11-inning affair, after the Jackets scored four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the game. Georgia Tech has notched four shutouts through the first eight games, and has given up an average of just two runs per game total on the year. Tech’s young offense has also begun heating up, as 10 Yellow Jackets are hitting .300 or higher, including four starters that are batting above .350.

Western Carolina – The Catamounts head south to Atlanta following a 1-3 showing at Coastal Carolina’s Baseball at the Beach Tournament this past weekend. Western Carolina is currently 3-4 on the season after winning a three-game series against Marshall on opening weekend. The Catamounts’ offense is led by Nick Liles (.429, 2 RBI) and Brent Greer (.407, 2 HR, 7 RBI), while the pitching staff currently owns a 7.34 ERA.

Kennesaw State – Following a game on Tuesday night against Alabama State, the Owls will head down I-75 to face the Jackets for the first of two games between the two teams this season. Kennesaw State was swept by Wake Forest, Penn State and Troy at last weekend’s Screentech Wiregrass Classic in Dothan, Ala., and will be looking to pick up its fifth win of the season this week. The Owls earned a pair of wins against Samford and two more vs. the Hatters of Stetson earlier this season.

Tech vs. the Opponents
(Tech leads Western Carolina, 16-15; Tech leads Kennesaw State, 5-2)

Georgia Tech and Western Carolina will meet for the 32nd time in history Tuesday when they square off for the first and only meeting between the two schools in 2008. Western Carolina has held the edge in the series of late, winning three of the last four games between the two schools, while Tech owns the series lead, 16-15. The Yellow Jackets are 6-5 against the Catamounts under head coach Danny Hall and an even 15-15 against them in Atlanta.

Western Carolina won the last game between the two teams, 10-7, in Atlanta in 2007.

Despite the short distance between the two schools, the Yellow Jackets and Owls of Kennesaw State will meet for just the eighth time in history on Wednesday. Georgia Tech owns a 5-2 record against the Owls, including a 4-1 mark in the last two years. The last game between the two teams resulted in a 6-4 win for Kennesaw State in Kennesaw after the Jackets picked up their first win of the 2007 season in a 10-inning affair earlier in the year. Georgia Tech is 5-1 against the Owls in games played in Atlanta, and 4-1 against them since Hall’s arrival in 1994.

Von Tersch Named ACC Pitcher of the Week

Monday, Mar. 3 – Zach Von Tersch earned his first league recognition after guiding Tech to a shutout victory against Rutgers in the series finale Sunday, March 2. In the process, Von Tersch picked up his first career victory while helping Tech to a 2-1 series win against the Scarlet Knights. Von Tersch tossed 7.0 innings, holding Rutgers hitters to three hits while striking out seven and walking two. He faced 24 batters and allowed just two runners past first base in the victory.

Kink’s Kids

Assistant coach Tom Kinkelaar is in his first season serving as the pitching coach for Georgia Tech, and his staff has been exceptional through the first eight games of the season. Tech had a talented group of returnees to the pitching staff, and while Kinkelaar has worked to fine-tune the mechanics of Tech’s upperclassmen, perhaps more impressive has been his work with the freshmen on this year’s staff. Four freshmen have taken the mound for the Jackets in 2008, working a total of 19 innings while giving up just two runs for a 1.06 ERA. They have been a part of a shutout on five collective occasions in 2008, and each freshman that has played has been a part of at least one shutout this season.

Starting Lineup Always a Toss-up

Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall is known for mixing up his lineup, and 2008 has been no different. The Jackets had the same batting order in each of the first two games, but the Yellow Jacket skipper mixed it up for the series finale against Youngstown State and every game since. He has used seven different lineup cards through the first eight games this season.

Georgia Tech vs. In-State Opponents

Georgia Tech went 5-6 against teams from the state of Georgia in 2007 but swept Georgia Southern last week to start 2-0 this season. Since 1999, the Yellow Jackets own a 79-26 (.752) record against its in-state foes. In 14 years under head coach Danny Hall, Tech is 122-43 (.739) against teams from Georgia.

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