Tech Baseball Hosts No. 16 Clemson in Battle of Division Leaders

April 15, 2010

Game Notes

Live Television (Saturday Only): Regional Sports Network
Live Stats: RamblinWreck.com
Live Audio: WREK 91.1 FM
Twitter Updates: Twitter.com/gt_baseball
Promotions:
Friday: Danny Hall T-shirts to first 250 fans
Saturday: WHITE OUT!: Free “Beat Clemson” T-Shirts while supplies last
Sunday: Free floppy hats; St. Baldrick’s head shaving (after the game)

ATLANTA – The fifth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (28-5, 12-3 ACC) will host No. 16 Clemson (23-11, 10-5 ACC) for a three-game series this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. The battle between Atlantic Coast Conference division leaders begins Friday at 7 p.m., continues Saturday at 1 p.m. (Regional Sports Network Televison), and concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.

With multiple events going on in the Atlanta area this weekend, fans are encouraged to take traffic in consideration when planning departure times. Parking is available on Techwood Drive, Fowler Street, and in Peters Parking Deck.

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Friday, April 16 (7 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech – Deck McGuire, Jr., RHP (5-2, 2.26 ERA, 60 K’s)
Clemson – Casey Harman, Jr., LHP (5-0, 2.76 ERA, 40 K’s)

Saturday, April 17 (1 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech – Brandon Cumpton, Jr., RHP (5-0, 5.95 ERA, 25 K’s)
Clemson – Scott Weismann, So., RHP (3-1, 3.80 ERA, 39 K’s)

Sunday, April 18 (1 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech – Jed Bradley, So., LHP (4-2, 3.83 ERA, 54 K’s)
Clemson – Will Lamb, So., LHP (3-2, 4.36 ERA, 12 K’s)

BROADCAST INFORMATION
The GT radio broadcast can be heard over the air on WREK (91.1), the flagship station of Georgia Tech baseball, and online at RamblinWreck.com. The games can also be heard online, free of charge at www.ramblinwreck.com.

Be sure to tune into the pre-game show 15 minutes before every game as play-by-play commentator Kyle Tait will preview the matchup.

SERIES PREVIEW

The Jackets (28-5, 12-3 ACC) are coming off a 25-6 win overGeorgia on Wednesday, their largest-ever victory over the in-staterivals in 347 meetings … Tech will look to improve on itsone-game lead over Miami in the ACC Coastal Division by facingClemson this weekend … Saturday’s 1 p.m. game will be the thirdtelevised contest this season for the Jackets, and the first on FoxSports South. The Jackets are ranked as high as No. 5 in threedifferent polls this week (ESPN/USA Today Coaches’, BaseballAmerica and NCBWA).
Clemson returns 20 letterwinners and 10 starters (eight positionplayers) from a 2009 squad that finished 44-22 overall, and secondin the ACC Atlantic Division with a 19-11 conference record whilereaching the NCAA Tempe Super Regional … The Tigers are currentlytied for the lead in the Atlantic Division with Florida State,holding a 10-5 record in conference bouts … Clemson lost two outof three last weekend to Duke, before falling in its lone midweekgame to Western Carolina, 7-5, on Wednesday.

SERIES HISTORY

Clemson holds a narrow 99-96-3 advantage in the all-time series with the Jackets … the home team has won the series every year dating back to 1997, a year in which the two teams split at Clemson … Tech is 67-39-2 all-time in games played at home, and hasn’t dropped a series to the Tigers on the Flats since 1996.

The Yellow Jackets are 27-34 against the Tigers since Danny Hall’s arrival in 1994.

Last Meeting:
Georgia Tech opened the series with a 5-4 win over Clemson at Doug Kingsmore Stadium in 2009, before losing the final two games 8-5 and 6-3, respectively.

UP NEXT
The Jackets will remain at home for two midweek games against Georgia Southern on Tuesday (April 20) and Wednesday (April 21) at Russ Chandler Stadium.

QUICK NOTES

GT holds the best record in the conference at 28-5, and leadsthe ACC in pitching with a 3.52 ERA, while tied for the lead inhitting at a .341 average. Tech’s starting pitchers are 21-4, andhave combined for 193 strikeouts in 196.0 innings. Deck McGuire leads the way with 60 strikeouts, the second mostin the conference. McGuire ranks in the top five in the conferencein five different categories: wins (5, T-1st), Innings pitched(59.2, 1st), strikeouts (60, 2nd), Opponent batting average (.217,5th) and complete games (2, 1st). Tech has three starting pitchersin the ACC with five wins (BrandonCumpton, McGuire and Mark Pope). No other team in the conference has more than onepitcher with five wins. The Tech bullpen is 7-1 on the year, and5-for-5 in save opportunities. Senior Andrew Robinson has allowed just three runs (two earned) in 14appearances out of the bullpen (20.0 innings) … He is 3-0 on theyear and has recorded two saves.. Sophomore Mark Pope is 5-0 as Tech’s midweek starter … He has struckout 44 batters and walked just three hitters in six starts. TheJackets have recorded five shutouts on the year, three shy oftrying the school record of eight – held by the 1906, 1971 and 1997teams. The five shutouts lead the conference. The Jackets havescored double digit runs 16 times this season, and are third in thenation in scoring at 10.3 runs per game. Tech has hit aconference-leading 74 home runs this season, an average of 2.2 pergame. It is the second most homers in the nation. Seven differentplayers have gone yard at least five times, and four at least 10.The Jackets have homered in 12 straight games, and 20 of their last21. Tech has only had three games this season in which it didn’t godeep. Senior Tony Plagman leads the ACC with 13 round-trippers this season.Plagman is also tied for the lead in total bases (96) with teammateDerek Dietrich, while his 45 RBI are the second most. Dietrichhas started 153 consecutive games at shortstop, every game of hiscareer. Sophomore Matt Skole the ACC in slugging percentage (.750), as Plagman(.744) and Dietrich (.733) give Tech the top three in thatcategory. Senior outfielder Jay Dantzler has missed 15 games due to a fractured wrist …Junior right-handed pitcher Kevin Jacob (Tech’s closer) has been out for a month (March 13)with a sore shoulder.

IN 2010, TECH HAS SHOWN IT CAN….

Score a lot of runs: 16 games in double digit runs (four gamesof 20+ runs, five of 15+ runs). The 354 total runs are the thirdmost in the nation.
Close out games: 23-1 when leading after six innings
Get a big inning: 11 games with an inning of at least six runs,including a season-high 10 in the sixth inning against Xavier(2/27).
Hit with from different parts of the lineup: 17 different lineupsin 2010.
Hit the deep ball throughout the batting order: 13 players with atleast one home run, seven players with at least five home runs, andfour with at least 10.
Shutout opponents: Conference-leading five shutouts in 33games.
Get an out when needed: 8.8 K’s/9 IP.
Rally big for the win: Two come from behind victories when down byseven runs, including a five-run ninth inning rally for an 11-8(10) win over then No.17 UNC.

SOMETHING ABOUT SATURDAY

Maybe it’s the water they drink, or the breakfast they eat. Maybe it’s the support they feel for Tech’s No. 2 weekend starter. Either way, On Saturday Tech has…

Recorded a 8-0 record. Out-scored opponents 136-37. Scored anaverage of 17.0 runs per game. Averaged 16.7 hits, and batted .409.Allowed an average of 9.4 hits, held opponents to a .269 battingaverage. Hit 27 home runs, allowed just three.

ST. BALDRICK’S ON THE MIND
The Tech baseball team is still collecting donations for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, in an effort to raise money to find the cure for childhood cancer. The Jackets are still short of the goal of raising $5,000 by April 18, 2010, and are asking for the fans’ assistance in helping them raise the funds.

For every $250 donated by Georgia Tech fans, one player on the team will have their head shaved following the Yellow Jackets’ game against Clemson on Sunday, April 18. Donations can be made by clicking here, or at the marketing tables setup on the concourse during this weekend’s games.

PLAGMAN NAMED FINALIST FOR LOWE’S SENIOR CLASS AWARD

Georgia Tech senior first baseman Tony Plagman has been named one of 10 finalists for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for baseball.

The 10 names will be placed on the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award baseball ballot for a nationwide vote beginning today (April 13) and concluding May 31. Fan balloting, available on the award’s official website, www.seniorclassaward.com, will be combined with votes from coaches, media and sponsors to determine the recipient of the award.

Plagman is currently batting .372 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI, and has helped the fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets to a 28-5 start this season. The Alpharetta, Ga. native has started at first base all four years on the Flats, having played in 206 career games.

LEONIDA ADDED TO BENCH AWARD WATCH LIST

Georgia Tech junior catcher Cole Leonida has been added to the watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza.

The Bench Award is given annually to the top catcher in NCAA Division I baseball.

A native of Aurora, Colo., Leonida is batting .352 with 10 doubles, one triple, seven home runs and 38 RBI in his first season as Tech’s No. 1 starter behind the plate. Leonida has been a work-horse for the fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets in 2010, starting all 33 of the team’s games while catching in 30 of them.

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