No. 24 Tech Baseball Ends Road Trip at No. 4 North Carolina

May 11, 2007

ATLANTA – No. 24 Georgia Tech (30-18, 14-9 ACC) ends its 10-game road trip, which spans a total of 25 days between home games, with a trip to the Triangle area when it faces the No. 4 North Carolina Tar Heels in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at Cary Boshamer Stadium. The two teams will continue the series Saturday at 1 p.m. before concluding with a 1:30 p.m. contest Sunday.

The 10-game road trip began at Clemson two weeks ago and has resulted in a 4-3 record for the Yellow Jackets. Tech dropped a 9-4 game to instate rival Georgia during the week, while UNC posted a pair of midweek wins over Elon and East Carolina.

Georgia Tech has won 17 of its last 24 games, and 21 of 30, after beginning the season 9-9.

Over the last 30 games, Georgia Tech has posted a 21-9 record as the pitching staff has held opponents to just 4.0 runs per game and a .261 batting average.

Starting Pitching Matchup (GT vs. UNC)
Friday: LHP David Duncan (6-2, 2.77) vs. RHP Robert Woodard (7-2, 2.82)
Saturday: RHP Eddie Burns (3-2, 3.09) vs. RHP Alex White (4-3, 3.29)
Sunday: LHP Ryan Turner (5-3, 4.24) vs. RHP Luke Putkonen (6-1, 4.10)

The Yellow Jacket offense is led by OF Danny Payne (.379-2-33-18), catcher Matt Wieters (.370-9-51-1), and SS Michael Fisher (.348-3-36-7). Georgia Tech, as a team, is hitting .296 on the year.

GAME COVERAGE: The entire series can be followed on ACC Select (gatech.playonsports.tv); Radio coverage also available on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org); Live stats available at www.ramblinwreck.com.

Georgia Tech leads North Carolina, 57-47

Georgia Tech leads North Carolina, 57-47, in a series that dates to 1901. The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels have played at least three games every year since 1986, and at least once every year since 1980.

After dropping the series opener in 2006, 2-0, the Yellow Jackets won the next two off the Tar Heels, 11-1 and 3-2, in Atlanta. Two years ago, when the two teams last met at Cary Boshamer Stadium, the Jackets dropped the first two games, 5-4 and 7-6, before earning an 8-1 victory in the series finale.

In the last five years, Georgia Tech has an 11-6 record against UNC, including a perfect 2-0 mark in postseason play.

Georgia Tech is 30-18 against the Tar Heels under head coach Danny Hall and 10-8 vs. UNC in games played at Cary Boshamer Stadium. Overall, Tech is 18-19 in games played on UNC’s campus.

Yellow Jacket Short Hops

Jackets Ranked NATIONALLY: Georgia Tech centerfielder Danny Payne is ranked second in the nation in walks per game (1.09), while catcher Matt Wieters’ 0.93 walks per game also stands in the top-10 in the rankings … Payne’s 1.2 runs per game also stands 23rd in the nation.

Streaking of Late: RF/DH Wally Crancer is hitting .533 in his current seven-game hitting streak, having collected at least two hits in six of the seven games, and each of the last five … LHP David Duncan is 1-0 with a 1.24 ERA and 27 K’s in his last four games (29.0 IP), including a 0.78 ERA in his last three contests (23.0 IP) … 2B Jason Garofalo has a four-game hitting streak in which he’s batting .500 with a double and two RBI … RHP Chris Hicks has a 2.53 ERA over his last six outings (10.2 IP) … RHP Jared Hyatt is 3-0 with a 0.66 ERA and 11 K’s in his last eight appearances (13.2 IP) … 3B/2B/SS Patrick Long has hit safely in eight of his last nine games … OF Danny Payne has a 14-game hitting and has hit safely in 20 of the last 22 games while reaching base safely in EVERY game appearance this season and 68-straight dating back to last year (see later in notes for more information); He has also made two-consecutive scoreless appearances from the mound … RHP Andrew Robinson has a 1.59 ERA in his last four outings (5.2 IP) … C Matt Wieters is hitting .488 with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and 14 RBI in his current 11-game hitting streak … He has also hit safely in 19 of the last 20 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 .309 through the last 23 games.

Jackets Climbing in RPI: Georgia Tech has moved up to No. 33 in the Pseudo-RPI, as produced by Boyd’s World, and No. 33 in the NCAA’s latest RPI.

Duncan Finally Receives Run Support: After throwing 26.1-consecutive innings (from April 6 through May 5) without Tech scoring a run with him on the mound, Yellow Jacket ace David Duncan had his offense explode for 11 runs against the USF Bulls in his last outing for his first win in four appearances. He had earned three-consecutive no-decisions despite the fact that he held opponents to just two runs on 12 hits while striking out 23 in 23.0 innings pitched. Those 26.1-consecutive innings without Tech scoring a run is still active in ACC contests.

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 relief pitcher Jared Hyatt has earned first-team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District III honors and is now eligible for the baseball Academic All-America team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Long Way From Home

Georgia Tech is in the midst of a 10-game road swing, which covers 25 days between home games at Russ Chandler Stadium. The last time that the Jackets had at least 25 days 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.

Jackets Continue Winning Tradition

For the 24th-straight season, the Georgia Tech baseball team has amassed 30 wins in a season. Yellow Jacket head coach Danny Hall has led Tech to 30+ wins in each of his 14 years, and at least 40 wins in 11 seasons. The last time that Georgia Tech failed to reach 30 wins in a season was in 1982, Jim Morris’ first season at the helm of the program, when the team went 29-20.

A Payne for Opposing Pitchers

Yellow Jacket junior Danny Payne not only leads the team in hits this season, but also in walks, and as a result has been a challenge for opposing to pitchers to keep off base. The centerfielder has reached base safely in all of his game appearances this season (he has just missed one game due to illness), and in 68-straight game appearances dating back to March 24 of last season.

Payne is believed to be only the second person in school history to reach base in over 65-straight games, and it is believed that Scott Jordan is the only former player to record a longer streak. (79 from 1984-85)

Hyatt One of Tech’s Greatest

Yellow Jacket senior Jared Hyatt has quietly put together one of the most successful careers in Georgia Tech history, as he has recorded a 15-2 career record in his four-plus seasons on the Flats, which ranks third all-time in career winning percentage.

With an 8-0 record in 2007, the Marietta, Ga. native stands third for highest winning percentage in a season. Only two pitchers, Scott Erwin (13) and Mike Schisler (9) have recorded more wins in an undefeated season. The last time that a pitcher won at least eight games without suffering a loss was in 1988 (Scott Erwin).

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