No. 20 Baseball Welcomes Hokies With Coach Hall At 999 Wins

March 15, 2012

 No. 20 Georgia Tech (12-5) vs. Virginia Tech(14-4)  Game 18 Friday, March 16, 6 p.m.  Game19  Saturday, March 17, 4 p.m. Game 20  Sunday, March 18, 1p.m.  Location Atlanta, Ga. | Russ Chandler Stadium| Weather Radio  WREK Radio Gametracker  RamblinWreck.com  TV  ESPN3Friday | ESPN3 Saturday | ESPN3 Sunday  Game Info GameNotes | 2012 MediaGuide | Facebook | Twitter

#BUZZWORTHY
>> A win away from the 1,000th of his career, head coach Danny Hall and No. 20 Georgia Tech welcome Virginia Tech this weekend for an Atlantic Coast Conference series at Russ Chandler Stadium.

>> All three games of the set will be streamed live on ESPN3, and can heard live on WREK Radio 91.1 FM in Atlanta and on RamblinWreck.com.

>> Hall, who signed new five-year contract earlier this season, is in his 19th season at Tech and 25th overall. He would become the 47th Division-I coach to achieve the milestone. His career record stands at 999-471-1. At Tech, Hall is 791-354-1.

>> 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 .361, with a team-leading 20 RBI. He has also been effective in six relief appearances on the mound.

>> Junior Sam Dove, who has started every game this season at one of three positions (third, second and left), carries an eight-game hitting streak into the weekend. With a .413 average, Dove is third in the ACC in average and third in OBP (.500).

>> Riding a three-start winning streak, junior preseason All-America gets the nod in Friday’s series-opener. Farmer is second in the ACC in strikeouts (37). His 19 career wins are ninth-most among active NCAA players — he is one of just three active juniors with 19+ career wins.

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.

ONE WIN AWAY FROM 1,000
>> 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 791 victories at the school.

>> Now in his 19th season on the Flats, Hall is just one victory 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 earlier this year).

>> 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.

>> 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 999-471-1 as a head coach, including six seasons at Kent State. At Tech, Hall’s record is 791-354-1.

FORMER JACKETS MAKE HEADLINES
>> Former Tech greats Nomar Garciaparra (`92-94) and Jason Varitek (`91-94) made headlines recently 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 HOKIES
>> Virginia Tech enters the week 14-4 overall, beating Radford, 7-3, and Wagner, 14-2, during the week after dropping two of three at No. 27 Virginia to open ACC play last weekend.

>> The three games in the UVa series were decided by a total of four runs as VT won 10-8 in 11 innings on Friday, but suffered losses of 4-3 and 6-5 on the weekend.

>> Head coach Pete Hughes is in his sixth season leading the Virginia Tech program, after spending the previous eight years as the head coach at Boston College.

>> Junior OF Andrew Rash is hitting .240, but leads the club with five of the team’s 15 home runs. Jake Atwell is hitting .386 to pace the offense that is hitting .306 as a team, slugging .466 and out-scoring the opposition, 137-67, this year.

THE VIRGINIA TECH SERIES
>> Georgia Tech leads the series 18-10 that dates back to 1980, but the last 10 meetings are deadlocked 5-5.

>> Since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004-05, the series favors Georgia Tech, 14-8.

>> The Hokies have won just six times in 18 visits to Atlanta, but won the series in their last visit in 2010. That season also saw Virginia Tech beat Georgia Tech, 6-2, in the ACC Tournament.

>> When the teams met last season in Blacksburg, the Yellow Jackets won on Friday, 11-4, behind a 14-hit attack and then won Sunday, 5-3, with Buck Farmer on the mound — a win that clinched GT a share of the ACC Coastal Division title.

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.

BALANCING ACT
>> Tech has displayed balance offensively over its 12-5 start, seeing 15 players score the team’s 138 runs and having six everyday starters hitting .310 or better.

>> Eleven different players have collected six+ RBI, with a team-high 20 from Zane Evans, 17 from Daniel Palka, 16 from Jake Davies and 13 from Brandon Thomas.

>> Sam Dove is currently third in the league in hitting (.413) and third in on-base percentage (.500), Kyle Wren is third in runs (22), sixth in walks (14) and seventh in steals (five). Evans is sixth in RBI (20), while Palka is fourth in the ACC in homers (four), sixth in total bases (42) and eighth in slugging (.627).

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

>> Eleven different players have swiped 25 bases, led by Brandon Thomas’ 6-for-6 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 .354 with three doubles, three triples, 22 runs and has walked 14 times against five strikeouts. He entered the week 15th nationally in runs, tied for sixth in the NCAA with his three triples and is 33rd in the nation in walks.

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

>> Thomas, an Atlanta native like Wren, is hitting .313 with a team-leading seven doubles.

>> Thomas is fifth in the ACC in steals (6-for-6) and is sixth in runs (19). He had a career-best 5-for-5 game versus Rutgers.

>> Wren and Thomas have reached base in every game this season. Thomas’ streak of reaching base is 19 games, dating back to 2011.

ANOTHER WIETERS?
>> 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 10 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 .361 average, four doubles, one triple, one home run and a team-leading 20 RBI.

>> Evans college career seems to following a similar path as current Baltimore Orioles’ catcher Matt Wieters, who in three seasons at Tech, was a career .359 hitter with 35 homers and collected a 3.83 ERA and 16 saves (tied for sixth on Tech’s career list).

>> 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.

EVANS NAMED TO JOHNNY BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST
>> Sophomore Zane Evans has been named to the official watch list for the 2012 Johnny Bench Award, which is presented annually by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission to top catcher in college baseball. Evans is one of five sophomores on the list.

>> Former Tech catcher Matt Wieters was a finalist for the award in 2007.

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 nine of his last 14 games. The versatile Dove, who has started every game at three different positions in 2012 (second, third and left), is hitting .413 (third in the ACC) and has scored in 13 of the last 14 games.

>> Dove has been sizzling since a 3-for-17 (.176) start to the year, and is 23 for his last 46 (.500). That has included four three-hit games, three doubles and his first two career home runs — a three-run bomb in the series-opener versus Rutgers and a solo shot versus Wagner.

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

GROWING K’S ON THE FARM
>> Junior RHP Buck Farmer is second the ACC and is ranked sixth nationally with 37 strikeouts, and his 13.32 strikeouts per nine innings is also second in the league and seventh nationally.

>> Farmer, one of three Tech captains, has won his last three starts (3-1), with a 2.88 ERA and 24 hits allowed in 25.0 innings this season.

>> He leads a weekend staff that has been among the most consistent in the ACC this season. He, Matthew Grimes and Dusty Isaacs have already recorded nine wins combined.

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 eight appearances (11.0 IP) this season.

>> In fact, his streak of not allowing an earned run dates back to April 24, 2011 — spanning 14-consecutive appearances and 25.0 innings.

>> Bard, who’s brother Daniel pitches for the Boston Red Sox, has recorded two saves this season, and with 12 in his career, stands tied for ninth on Tech’s career list.

SUNDAY SUCCESS
>> Sophomore RHP Dusty Isaacs is continuing a long line of Tech starters who’ve found success in the Sunday role. Already this season, Isaacs is 3-1.

>> Buck Farmer held down the Sunday spot in 2011 with former Jacket and 2011 MLB first-round pick Jed Bradley there in 2010.

>> Since 2010, Georgia Tech is 25-6 in the third game of a weekend series (3-1 in 2012, 11-3 in 2011 and 11-2 in 2010).

EARLY-INNING MAGIC
>> Georgia Tech is out-scoring the opposition 77-36 in the first four innings this season, including a 25-9 scoring margin in the fourth inning.

>> Tech is 9-1 when scoring first this season and is 6-0 when scoring in the first inning.

>> The Jackets are closing strong as well, with a 35-19 edge in runs over the final three innings.

TECH GETS SCHOOL-RECORD 22 TV GAMES
>> Tech will set a school record with 22 regular-season television games this season, surpassing the previous record of 15 set in 2003. This season, the Yellow Jackets are on six times as part of the ACC’s package — one nationally-televised contest at North Carolina (April 22) on ESPNU — and 14 others on CSS, Fox Sports South or ESPN3.

>> A record 43 baseball games involving ACC teams, including all 13 games of the ACC Baseball Championship in Greensboro, N.C., will be broadcast by the conference’s television partners this season.

>> Additional games on ESPN3 and CSS are possible and all non-TV home games will be streamed live at RamblinWreck.com.

>> Radio broadcasts of every Tech game — home and road — can be heard over the air on WREK (91.1), the flagship station of Georgia Tech baseball, and at RamblinWreck.com.

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