No. 20 Baseball Kicks Off Four-Game Homestand Today Versus Wagner

March 13, 2012

 No. 20 Georgia Tech (11-5) vs. Wagner (3-9)
 Game 17  Tuesday, Macrh 13, 4 p.m.
 Location Atlanta, Ga. | Russ Chandler Stadium | Weather

 Radio  WREK Radio Gametracker  RamblinWreck.com  Webcast  RamblinWreck All-Access Game Info  GameNotes | 2012 MediaGuide | Facebook | Twitter

#BUZZWORTHY
>> The No. 20 Georgia Tech baseball team kicks off a four-game homestand Tuesday afternoon, welcoming Wagner to Russ Chandler Stadium at 4 p.m.

>> The game can be heard live on WREK Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta, with a live video stream available at RamblinWreck.com.

>> Yellow Jackets’ head coach Danny Hall, in his 19th season at Tech and 25th overall, enters the week just two wins shy of his 1,000th career win. He would become the 47th Division-I coach to achieve the milestone.

>> Sophomore Zane Evans has been named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, which is presented annually to the top catcher in college baseball. Evans is hitting .328 and is fifth in the ACC in RBI (18)

>> Junior Sam Dove, who has started every game this season at one of three positions (third, second and left), carried a seven-game hitting streak into the Wagner game. With a .407 average, Dove if fifth in the ACC in average and fourth in on-base percentage (.493).

>> As a team, Tech enters the week third in the ACC in hitting (.305) and leads the league in slugging percentage (.465) and the 123 runs are third-most.

>> After missing his scheduled start Saturday at NC State, sophomore RHP Matthew Grimes (2-1, 1.80 ERA) is slated to start vs. Wagner.

A MODEL OF SUCCESS
>> With an appearance in the 2011 NCAA Atlanta Regional, Georgia Tech returned to the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time in the last 27 years. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Tournament every year since 1985 with the exception of the 1999 and 2007 seasons, and made its 27th overall postseason appearance in history last year.

>> Since 2002, Georgia Tech has appeared in nine NCAA Regionals, three NCAA Super Regionals and two College World Series (2002 and 2006).

>> Prior to its recent streak, Georgia Tech had participated in the NCAA playoff just twice, in 1959 and 1971, with an additional play-in tournament appearance in 1948.

>> Georgia Tech made its first trip to the College World Series in 1994, advancing to the championship game before falling to Oklahoma, 13-5.

>> Under Danny Hall, Tech is averaging 43.3 wins per season, a figure that ranks 10th nationally since the 1994 season.

FORMER JACKETS MAKE HEADLINES
>> Former Tech greats Nomar Garciaparra (`92-94) and Jason Varitek (`91-94) made headlines last week as Varitek announced his retirement and Garciaparra was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. The pair led Georgia Tech to the program’s first College World Series in 1994 — reaching the title game.

SCOUTING THE SEAHAWKS
>> After opening the season 0-9, Wagner brings a three-game winning streak to Atlanta after sweeping Jacksonville this past weekend. The Seahawks are in the midst of a two-week swing in the southeast.

>> Jim Carone is in his first year as Wagner’s head coach, accepting the job less than a month before Opening Day. Carone spent the last three years as the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Villanova.

>> Wagner College is located in Staten Island, N.Y., has an enrollment of 2,100 and plays in the Northeast Conference.

THE WAGNER SERIES
>> This marks the first meeting between Georgia Tech and Wagner in the series.

NATIONAL POLL UPDATE
>> Georgia Tech remains in the major college baseball national polls this week, sitting at No. 15 in the NCBWA poll, No. 16 in Baseball America poll, No. 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and No. 20 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.

>> Georgia Tech was ranked as high as No. 9 in the 2012 preseason polls and the Yellow Jackets have been ranked every year in the preseason under Danny Hall.

CLOSING ON MAJOR MILESTONE
>> Having spent his entire coaching career involved with winning programs, Danny Hall’s tenure at Georgia Tech has been his most successful, as he is the all-time winningest baseball coach in Yellow Jacket history with 790 victories at the school.

>> Now in his 19th season on the Flats, Hall is just two victories shy of becoming the 47th Division-I baseball coach all-time to reach 1,000 career wins (Missouri State’s Keith Guttin became the 46th last weekend).

>> Entering 2012, he was ranked 13th among active Division-I coaches in winning percentage (.679), and is 16th among active D-I coaches in number of victories (987).

>> Hall has led Tech to the NCAA Tournament on 16 occasions and guided the Yellow Jackets to the College World Series in 1994, 2002 and 2006, the only head coach in the program’s storied history to reach the promised land of Omaha.

>> Hall, 57, is 998-471-1 as a head coach, including six seasons at Kent State. At Tech, Hall’s record is 790-354-1.

BALANCING ACT
>> Tech has displayed balance offensively over its 11-5 start, seeing 15 players score the team’s 123 runs and having six everyday starters hitting .300 or better.

>> Thirteen different players have collected two+ RBI, with a team-high 18 from Zane Evans, 16 from Daniel Palka, 13 from Jake Davies and 12 from Brandon Thomas.

>> Palka is tied for the ACC lead in homers (four) and total bases (42) and is third in slugging (.656), Dove is fifth in the league in hitting (.407) and fourth in on-base percentage (.493), Kyle Wren is third in runs (20) and fourth in walks (14) and steals (five), Evans is fifth in RBI (18) .

>> Seven have recorded a game-winning RBI, while six have scored a game-winning run.

>> Nine different players have swiped 21 bases, led by Brandon Thomas’ 5-for-5 and Kyle Wren’s 5-for-6.

TABLE SETTERS
>> Georgia Tech may possess two of the fastest lead-off men in the ACC in Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas. The pair are gap-robbers in the outfield, and have speed to burn at the top of Tech’s order.

>> Wren is hitting .344 with three doubles, three triples, 20 runs and has walked 14 times against four strikeouts. He is 15th nationally in runs, is tied for sixth in the NCAA with his three triples and is 33rd in the nation with his 14 walks.

>> With 10 career triples, Wren, a sophomore, ranks tied for 13th all-time at Tech.

>> Thomas, an Atlanta native like Wren, is hitting .308 with a team-leading seven doubles.

>> Thomas is fourth in the ACC in steals (5-for-5) and is seventh in runs (17). He had a career-best 5-for-5 game versus Rutgers.

>> Wren and Thomas have reached base in every game this season.

TECH TRIPLES WAY INTO RECORD BOOK
>> Kyle Wren had two triples in the Kennesaw State win and Brandon Thomas added one of his own, allowing Tech to match the school record for triples in a game with three.

>> Wren also tied a school record with two triples, matching a mark that had been set 18 previous times — the last by Jeff Rowland vs. Missouri State on March 20, 2010.

>> The school record of three triples had been set 10 previous times, the last coming on April 14, 2010 vs. Georgia.

MR. EVERYTHING
>> Sophomore Zane Evans, a year removed from a freshman All-America season in which he caught nearly every game for Tech, is proving his worth all over the diamond in 2012.

>> He was recently added to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, which is presented annually to the top catcher in college baseball.

>> He’s started nine games behind the plate and has made six appearances on the mound with a save and 13 strikeouts in 12.2 innings. His offensive numbers are red-hot, with a .328 average, three doubles, one triple, one home run and 18 RBI.

>> Evans’ first home run of the season was a three-run shot at Georgia Southern (F22) that broke an 8-8 tie in the eighth inning and gave the Jackets the lead for good. He picked up his first career save the Sunday before in a 5-3 win at Winthrop.

>> Evans hit .270 as a rookie with five homers and became Tech’s first everyday freshman starting catcher since Jason Varitek in 1991.

FOR THE DOVE OF THE GAME
>> Junior captain Sam Dove has surged to the top of Tech’s batting average list, thanks in part to multi-hit efforts in eight of his last 13 games. The versatile Dove, who has started every game at three different positions in 2012 (second, third and left), is hitting .407 (fifth in the ACC) and has scored in 12 of the last 13 games.

>> Dove has been sizzling since a 3-for-17 (.176) start to the year, and is 21 for his last 42 (.500). That has included four three-hit games, three doubles and his first career home run — a three-run bomb in the series-opener versus Rutgers.

>> A walk-on as a freshman, Dove started 48 games in 2011, hit .310 and was an Academic All-ACC pick.

LUKE’S USING THE FORCE
>> Junior closer and captain Luke Bard, listed on the preseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award, has not been scored upon in his seven appearances (10.0 IP) this season.

>> In fact, his streak of not allowing an earned run dates back to April 24, 2011 — spanning 13-consecutive appearances and 24.0 innings.

>> Bard has recorded two saves this season, and with 12 in his career, stands tied for ninth on Tech’s career list.

EARLY-INNING MAGIC
>> Georgia Tech is out-scoring the opposition 67-34 in the first four innings this season.

>> Tech is 8-1 when scoring first this season and is 5-0 when scoring in the first inning.

>> The Jackets are closing strong as well, with a 35-18 edge in runs over the final three innings.

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