No. 24 Georgia Tech Concludes Final Exams With Trip to USF

May 4, 2007

ATLANTA – No. 24 Georgia Tech (27-17) ends its final exams week with a trip to Tampa to take on the University of South Florida (28-18) in a three-game series beginning Saturday at 6 p.m. ET. The Jackets and Bulls will conclude the series with 12 p.m. games on both Sunday and Monday.

GAME COVERAGE: Sunday’s game will be broadcast on CSS; Radio coverage for the entire series on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org); Livestats available at www.ramblinwreck.com.

The Yellow Jackets are in the midst of a 10-game road trip that began last weekend at Clemson and spans 25 days. Tech dropped two of three games against the Tigers, including an 11-inning contest in the series opener, but salvaged a 6-3 win Sunday afternoon to avoid the series sweep. USF is also coming off a series loss last weekend, falling 1-2 to Louisville after earning a win in the series opener.

Georgia Tech has won 14 of its last 20 games, and 18 of its last 26 after beginning the season 9-9.

Over the last 26 games, Georgia Tech has posted a 18-8 record as the pitching staff has held opponents to just 3.8 runs per game and a .256 batting average.

Starting Pitching Matchup (GT vs. USF)
Saturday: LHP David Duncan (5-2, 2.76) vs. RHP Danny Otero (7-5, 2.91)
Sunday: RHP Eddie Burns (3-2, 3.46) vs. TBA
Monday: LHP Ryan Turner (4-3, 3.92) vs. TBA

The Yellow Jacket offense is led by OF Danny Payne (.377-2-32-15), catcher Matt Wieters (.361-7-42-1), and SS Michael Fisher (.341-3-33-7). Georgia Tech, as a team, is hitting .288 on the year.

Yellow Jacket Short Hops

Jackets Ranked NATIONALLY: Georgia Tech centerfielder Danny Payne is ranked second in the nation in walks per game (1.07), while catcher Matt Wieters’ 0.93 walks per game stands at No. 10 in the rankings … Payne’s 1.16 runs per game also stands 35th in the nation.

Streaking of Late: RF/DH Wally Crancer hit .545 last weekend and has hit safely in seven of the last eight games (.364) … LHP David Duncan is 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA and 53 K’s in his last seven games (52.2 IP), including a 0.78 ERA in his last three contests (23.0 IP) … RHP Chris Hicks has a 2.70 ERA over his last four outings (6.2 IP) … RHP Jared Hyatt is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA and eight K’s in his last six appearances (11.0 IP) … OF Danny Payne has a 10-game hitting and has hit safely in 16 of the last 18 games while reaching base safely in EVERY game this season; He has also made two-consecutive scoreless appearances from the mound … C Matt Wieters is hitting .500 with three doubles, a triple and five RBI in his current seven-game hitting streak … He has also hit safely in 15 of the last 16 games, including posting a .473 BA in the month of April.

Bats Warm With the Weather: After hitting just .281 through the first 25 games of the season (through March 25), the Yellow Jacket offense has hit .296 through the last 19 games.

Long Way from Home: Georgia Tech is in the midst of a 10-game road swing, which covers 25 days between games away from the friendly confines of Russ Chandler Stadium. The last time that the Jackets had that amount of time between home games during the season was in 1990, when Tech traveled to Hawaii for 10 games before meeting NC State and Georgia on the road to end a 14-game road trip which spanned 27 days.

Duncan Seeks Run Support: Yellow Jacket ace David Duncan has earned three-consecutive no-decisions despite the fact that he has held opponents to just two runs on 12 hits while striking out 23 in 23.0 IP, a problem that is due to the fact that Yellow Jackets have been held scoreless in his last 26.1 innings of work. The last time that Georgia Tech scored a run with Duncan on the mound was in the third inning at Miami on April 6, 2007.

Jackets Earn Midseason/Preseason National Honors: Junior catcher Matt Wieters has been named to the Johnny Bench Award Watch List (recognizing the top collegiate catcher) and the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award, Dick Howser Trophy and Brooks Wallace Award Watch Lists (all recognizing the top collegiate player) … Junior centerfielder Danny Payne was also tabbed to the USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award and Brooks Wallace Award Watch Lists … Senior starting pitcher Ryan Turner is one of 30 candidates for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award (recognizing the top senior in college baseball).

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