No. 5 Tech Baseball Hosts NC State in Weekend ACC Series

March 17, 2005

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ATLANTA–Georgia Tech (16-2, 6-0 ACC) continues a nine-game homestand as the Yellow Jackets host NC State (15-5, 3-3) for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend. First pitch on Friday is set for 7 p.m., and the series continues on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

The Yellow Jackets, who are ranked as high as No. 5 in the nation by the NCBWA, are off to a fast start in conference play with sweeps of Duke and Wake Forest. Tech has won an ACC-record 22 straight regular season conference games.

For the year, Tech leads the ACC with a .362 team batting average, a .474 on base percentage and an average of 12.2 runs per game. The Yellow Jackets have scored in double figures in each of the last games to establish a new school record. Tech has scored 100 runs in the last six games (16.7 rpg).

Third basebam Wes Hodges (.466AVG/.551OBP/.849SLG, 7HR, 18RBI) has paced the Tech offense, leading the club in batting, slugging, home runs and hits. Junior right fielder Jeremy Slayden (.378/.467/.689, 6, 31) is the reigning National and ACC Player of the Week after hitting four home runs with 17 RBI in four games last week.

The rest of the Tech lineup features catchers Andy Hawranick (.310/.412/.476, 2, 10) and Matt Wieters (.383/.532/.550, 2, 16), first baseman Whit Robbins (.297/.472/.484, 1, 16), second basemen Mike Trapani (.283/.433/.340, 1, 8) and Michael Fisher (.458/.536/.833, 2, 13), shortstop Tyler Greene (.371/.470/.686, 4, 27), left fielder Steven Blackwood (.333/.419/.500, 2, 25), center fielder Danny Payne (.413/.559/.613, 3, 19), and DH Jeff Kindel (.392/.467/.667, 2, 15).

WEEKEND PITCHING MATCHUPS (Georgia Tech vs. NC State):Friday: RHP Jason Neighborgall (4-0, 2.89) vs. RHP Jeff Stallings (3-1, 5.16)Saturday: LHP Lee Hyde (2-0, 7.25) vs. LHP Branden Knapp (1-0, 3.75)Sunday: RHP Blake Wood (4-0, 2.77) vs. RHP Gib Hobson (4-1, 3.77)

GAME COVERAGE: Live statistics will be available on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com. Radio coverage is available on WREK (91.1 FM) in Atlanta and on the internet at www.wrek.org.

Series Notes vs. NC State, Georgia Tech Leads, 56-41

Georgia Tech leads NC State, 56-41, in a series that dates to 1921. The Yellow Jackets and Demon Deacons have played annually since 1980 when Tech joined the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Tech owns a 27-11 record against NC State in Atlanta, winning two of three over the Wolfpack at Russ Chandler Stadium in the 2003 season. Since the ACC adopted the current three-game series format in 1990, Tech has won six of seven series in Atlanta, including two three-game sweeps.

Tech is 26-13 against NC State since 1994 under head coach Danny Hall.

Last year in Raleigh, the Yellow Jackets swept a rain shortened, two game series. Tech swept a doubleheader by scores of 6-1 and 7-3.

Georgia Tech has won 14 of the last 19 meetings with NC State since 1999.

LEADING OFF … NEWS & NOTES ON THE YELLOW JACKETS

THE OFFENSE: The Yellow Jackets led the ACC with a .319 team batting average during the 2004 season. Tech has hit over .300 as a team in 19 of the last 21 years, and has averaged at least seven runs per game every year since 1981. Tech has led the ACC in batting in five years (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2004) under Danny Hall. Tech is batting .362 this year.

WORKING THE WALKS: The Yellow Jackets have walked 134 times in 18 games (7.4 bb/g) in 2005 while posting a .474 team on base percentage. Tech has 134 walks to 114 strikeouts; the last Tech team to record more walks than strikeouts for an entire season was in 1984 (370/278).

BATS ON FIRE: Tech has scored 100 runs in the last six games (16.6 r/g), scoring at least 15 runs in each contest. Tech is batting .427 and has a .523 team on base percentage in that stretch. Over the last six games, six Tech regulars are batting over .400 – Jeremy Slayden (.650), Whit Robbins (.500), Matt Wieters (.450), Danny Payne (.448), Jeff Kindel (.444) and Michael Fisher (.438).

TECH SETS ACC RECORD WITH 22 STRAIGHT CONFERENCE WINS

The Yellow Jackets won 16 straight ACC games to finish the 2004 season, a new school record, after starting the year 2-5 in conference play. Tech has opened the 2005 season with six straight league wins to extended its win streak in conference play to an ACC-record 22 games.

The current 22-game streak is the longest regular season ACC win streak in conference history.

LONGEST CONFERENCE WIN STREAKS IN ACC HISTORYWINS   SCHOOL          YEAR(S)1. 22  Georgia Tech    2004-pres.2. 21  Clemson         1987-88   21  North Carolina  1963-654. 17  Florida State   19965. 14  Clemson         1975-76   14  Clemson         1993-94

HALL REACHES COACHING MILESTONES

Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall reached 700 wins for his career in Tech’s 9-1 win over Georgia Southern on Mar. 1. Now in his 18th season as a head coach at Georgia Tech and Kent State, Hall owns a career record of 707-330 (.682).

Hall reached 500 wins in his career at Georgia Tech on Mar. 13 vs. Wake Forest, and with five wins he will become the school’s all-time leader in career victories. Hall, who has a 500-213 (.701) record in 12 years at Tech, already ranks as the school’s winningest coach by percentage.

Georgia Tech Coaching LeadersCoach            Years    Record     Pct.1. Jim Morris    1982-93  504-244-1  .6742. Danny Hall    1994-05  500-213-0  .7013. Jim Luck      1962-81  320-280-5  .5334. Joe Pittard   1946-61  147-99-5   .6075. John Heisman  1904-17  163-97-5   .627

SCHOOL RECORD SCORING STREAK

Georgia Tech has scored at least 10 runs in each of the last eight games, including 15 or more runs in six straight games. The current streak of eight games in double figure scoring is a school record, eclipsing the previous record of six games. For the season, Tech has reached double figure scoring in 13 of 18 games.

MOST CONSECUTIVE GAMES WITH 10+ RUNSYear   Games2005   8 (current)1995   61987   6 (two times)1983   6

WIETERS, SLAYDEN WIN NATIONAL WEEKLY HONORS

Freshman Matt Wieters earned ACC and National Player of the Week honors on Mar. 7 for his performance in four games agasint Duke and Georgia Southern. In Tech’s three-game sweep at Duke, the catcher/DH went 12-for-14 (.857) with a grand slam and nine RBI. Wieters raised his season batting average nearly 200 points, and he finished the weekend with nine consecutive hits.

Junior Jeremy Slayden was named ACC and National Player of the Week on Mar. 14 for his performance in four games against William & Mary, Georgia Southern and Wake Forest. Slayden hit .786 (11-for-14) with four home runs and 17 RBI, posting a 1.714 slugging percentage and a .850 on base percentage. He hit two home runs and had six RBI against William & Mary, and had a career-high eight RBI in the middle game of the Wake Forest series.

HODGES, SLAYDEN RETURN TO POWER THE OFFENSE

Sophomroe Wes Hodges missed the final 17 games of the 2004 season after being hit by a pitch in the face and suffering several small fractures in his cheekbone. But the third baseman has returned to the lineup in strong fashion in 2005. Hodges leads Tech with seven home runs in 17 games, batting a team-leading .466 (34-for-73). He leads the team in hits (34) and slugging percentage (.849).

Junior right fielder Jeremy Slayden played in only nine games in 2004 after undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of February. Slayden, who has 33 career home runs, is batting .378 with six home runs and a team-high 31 RBI in 17 games.

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