No. 9 Jackets Begin Road To Omaha At Rock Hill Coca-Cola Classic

Feb. 16, 2012

 No. 9 Georgia Tech (0-0) at Rock HillCoca-Cola Classic  Game 1 Friday, Feb. 17, 2 p.m. vs. Kent State (0-0) Game 2  Friday, Feb. 17, 6 p.m.vs. Winthrop (0-0)  Game 3 Saturday, Feb. 18, 1 p.m. vs. Kent State Game 4  Sunday, Feb. 19, 2:30p.m. vs. Winthrop  Location Rock Hill,S.C. | The Winthrop Ballpark | Weather Radio  WRECK Radio91.1 FM in Atlanta & RamblinWreck.com Stats  WinthropEagles.com  Video Webcast  WinthropEagles.com(WU games only)  Season Preview Q&Awith Coach Hall | Practice Interviews | CountdownTo Opening Day  Game Info GameNotes | 2012 MediaGuide | Facebook | Twitter

#BUZZWORTHY
>> Opening its 115th all-time season of baseball, No. 9 Georgia Tech faces Winthrop and Kent State in the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Classic in Rock Hill, S.C. this weekend.

>> The Yellow Jackets battle both Kent State (2 p.m.) and Winthrop (6 p.m.) on Opening Day, and will face the Golden Flashes Saturday at 1 p.m. before wrapping up the weekend Sunday versus the Eagles at 2:30 p.m. All four games can be heard live on WREK Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta and on RamblinWreck.com.

>> Tech has won four-straight season-openers, eight of its last 10 and is 14-4 all-time under head coach Danny Hall in season-openers. This season-opening doubleheader is the first for Tech since taking two from Georgia Southern, 15-6 and 5-4, to start the 2004 season.

>> Tech welcomes back 23 letterwinners from a 2011 team that finished 42-21, won a share of the ACC Coastal Division title with a 22-8 league mark and reached the NCAA Regional for the 27th time in school history.

>> Of the 23 returnees, three were All-ACC picks last season (first-team OF Kyle Wren, second-team P Buck Farmer and second-team 1B Jake Davies), while Wren and C Zane Evans each garnered Freshman All-America honors in 2011.

>> Farmer, Wren and junior OF Brandon Thomas have earned Preseason All-America recognition entering 2012.

QUICK REWIND
>> Georgia Tech finished the 2011 season at 42-21 overall, was 22-8 in Atlantic Coast Conference play and shared the Coastal Division Championship with Virginia.

>> The 22 ACC wins tied a school record (2005) and the Coastal Division crown was Tech’s first since that same season.

>> Tech reached the NCAA Tournament for the fourth-consecutive season, the 11th time in 12 years, the 16th time in head coach Danny Hall’s 18 years and the 27th time in school history.

>> The Yellow Jackets hosted an NCAA Regional for the ninth time since 2000 and the 11th time overall.

>> Georgia Tech lost four juniors from the 2011 team to the MLB Draft — LHP Jed Bradley (1st Round, Milwaukee), 3B Matt Skole (5th, Washington), RHP Mark Pope (5th, San Diego), IF/RHP Jacob Esch (11th, Florida) — and one senior RHP Kevin Jacob (31st, St. Louis).

LOOKING FORWARD
>> Georgia Tech returns 23 letterwinners (11 starters) for the 2012 season, including Preseason All-America picks Buck Farmer (junior RHP), Brandon Thomas (junior LF) and Kyle Wren (sophomore CF).

>> Wren was a First Team All-ACC pick last season and a First Team Freshman All-America, while Farmer garnered Second Team All-ACC honors along with Jake Davies (senior 1B).

>> Of Tech’s 11 incoming freshmen, three were selected in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft — RHP Cole Pitts (32nd Round, Cleveland), C A.J. Murray (48th, Houston) and OF Charles Sheffield (49th, Oakland).

PRESEASON ACC COACHES POLL
>> Georgia Tech was picked second in the Coastal Division behind North Carolina, in the preseason poll of the league’s 12 head coaches.

>> UNC was also the pick as the overall conference championship, with the Yellow Jackets second.

KENT STATE SERIES
>> Georgia Tech is 12-4 all-time versus Kent State, including a series win over the Flashes at Russ Chandler Stadium to open last season. The series dates back to 1984.

>> Tech head coach Danny Hall began his head coaching career at Kent State from 1988 to 1993, but the teams did not play while Hall was at KSU.

>> Current Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin spent three years at Tech as an assistant under Danny Hall from 2002-04.

WINTHROP SERIES
>> Tech is 16-1 all-time over Winthrop in a series that dates back to the 1992 season.

>> The teams last met for a three-game series in 2005 at Russ Chandler Stadium, with the Yellow Jackets winning two of three by a combined 35-16 margin.

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 779 victories at the school.

>> Hall enters this 19th season on the Flats just 13 victories shy of becoming the 46th Division-I baseball coach all-time to reach 1,000 career wins. He’s 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 GETS FIRST HALL OF FAMER
>> The first of what may be many of Danny Hall’s former players is entering the National Baseball Hall of Fame as Barry Larkin was elected in January.

>> Hall was an assistant at Michigan, where Larkin played from 1983-85. During Larkin’s press conference, he thanked Hall for helping him develop his fundamentals.

>> Hall: “I want to extend my sincere congratulations to Barry Larkin. It is an honor that could not be awarded to a better individual. Barry embodies the true spirit of what it takes to succeed at the highest level, both on the field and off the field. I am both proud and honored to have coached him.”

HALL NABS CONFERENCE WIN NO. 300
>> Danny Hall joined elite company when Georgia Tech defeated North Carolina on Sunday, May 15, 2011. The Yellow Jackets skipper recorded his 300th career Atlantic Coast Conference victory, becoming just the fourth coach in conference history to reach the 300 conference wins plateau.

>> He joined Bill Wilhelm of Clemson, the all-time leader at 378, Florida State’s Mike Martin (361), and Clemson’s Jack Leggett (304). Hall (302) has never had a losing season in ACC play.

CONSISTENTLY SUCCESSFUL
>> 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 has 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.

JACKETS CRACK PRESEASON TOP 25 FOR 19TH TIME UNDER HALL
>> Georgia Tech has been ranked in the preseason Top 25 by at least one of the major polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, USA Today/Baseball Weekly) in each of Danny Hall’s 19 seasons as the Yellow Jackets’ skipper.

>> Tech has been a preseason Top 10 pick in eight of the last 14 years and a Top 5 selection in four of the last 12.

TECH ON THE AIR
>> 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.

>> Tech will tie a school record with 15 regular-season television games this season (2003), including six games as part of the ACC’s package — one nationally-televised contest at North Carolina (April 22) on ESPNU — and seven others on CSS.

>> Additional games on ESPN3, CSS and FS-South 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.

RECAPPING THE PRESEASON HONOR ROLL
>> Junior RHP Buck Farmer and sophomore CF Kyle Wren were named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America Team, and Farmer also earned a spot on the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America list.

>> Junior LF Brandon Thomas earned mention on the Baseball America Preseason All-America team, which is selected by a panel of Major League Baseball scouting directors.

>> Sophomore Zane Evans was selected the No. 9 catcher nationally and junior Luke Bard was picked the No. 10 reliever in the nation by Perfect Game.

>> In College Baseball Daily’s list of the Top 100 college baseball players this season, Farmer was listed at No. 20 and sophomore 1B/OF/LHP Daniel Palka was 29th.

JACKETS EARN SHARE OF COASTAL TITLE; TIE SCHOOL RECORD FOR ACC WINS
>> The Jackets earned a share of the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference regular season title after finishing the regular season with a 22-8 conference record.

>> Tech and Virginia, both in the ACC Coastal Division, finished with identical records. It was the first regular season title for the Jackets since the 2005 season.

>> Tech’s 22 conference wins during the 2011 season tied a school-record, previously set in 2005.

TECH FIELDS LARGEST FRESHMAN CLASS IN 2011
>> The 2011 freshman class was the largest in the nation of all the major conferences. All 17 of Tech’s newcomers saw action last season, 10 made starts — including six newcomers starting on Opening Day.

>> The class, which is the largest ever brought in during coach Hall’s tenure, earned a No. 6 national ranking and the No. 1 overall ranking in the state.

GEORGIA TECH BLOODLINES
>> Luke Bard — His brother Daniel is former UNC standout and current Red Sox pitcher.

>> Jake Davies — Brother of Toronto Blue Jays RHP Kyle Davies, who was drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school.

>> Jonathan Roberts — Great uncle Mickey Babb played football for Georgia from 1961-1963 (All-SEC in 1962) and the Philadelphia Eagles in 1964.

>> Kyle & Colby Wren — The twins are the sons of current Braves GM Frank Wren. Wren was the Vice President of the Florida Marlins in 1997 when the franchise won its first ever World Series.

>> Jamal Golden — His cousin, Reggie Golden, was selected in the second round of the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft by the Chicago Cubs

>> Connor Lynch — His grandfather, Jerry Lynch, played in the MLB for 13 years with the Pirates and Reds, and roomed with Roberto Clemente and Bill Mazarowski.

>> A.J. Murray — His brother Michael was a standout catcher at Wake Forest, and currently plays for the San Francisco Giants organization.

>> Charles Sheffield — His uncle, Dan Reeves, is a former player in the NFL and head coach of the Atlanta Falcons when the Falcons advanced to their only Super Bowl in franchise history in 1998.

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