Tech Begins 2009 ACC Baseball Championship With Fifth-Seeded Miami

May 19, 2009

DURHAM, N.C. – Georgia Tech enters the 2009 ACC Baseball Championships as the No. 4 seed and will begin tournament play Wednesday at 12 noon when it meets fifth-seeded Miami at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.

The championship is split into two brackets, with each team playing the other three teams on their side of the bracket through the first four days of the tournament. The winners of the two brackets will meet Sunday at 1 p.m. for the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

Yellow Jackets’ 2009 ACC Baseball Championship Bracket Schedule
Wednesday, 12 p.m. – No. 4 Georgia Tech vs. No. 5 Miami
Thursday, 12 p.m. – No. 4 Georgia Tech vs. No. 8 Boston College
Saturday, 12 p.m. – No. 4 Georgia Tech vs. No. 1 Florida State

The Yellow Jackets (34-15-1, 17-10-1 ACC) have dropped three of their last four games, but still enter the weekend ranked among the top-15 in the nation. Georgia Tech was a consensus preseason top-25 team that moved into the top-10 in the season’s first official polls. The Yellow Jackets have been ranked as high as No. 3 this season (by Collegiate Baseball in March) and currently appear as high as No. 11 in the Rivals.com Poll. Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America have the Jackets listed at No. 14 in their respective polls, while USA Today lists Tech at No. 12. The NCBWA poll was not available at press time.

Senior RF Luke Murton (.376-17-54-4), junior 1B Tony Plagman (.347-15-63-4) and freshman 3B Matt Skole (.303-15-50-2) are powering the Yellow Jacket offense in 2009, while sophomore OF/DH Chase Burnette (.384-7-25-1), CF Jeff Rowland (.357-8-32-18) and senior LF Chris House (.316-3-21-1) have been hot of late.

Tournament Coverage

All of Georgia Tech’s ACC Championship games can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), while live stats will be availabale at Ramblinwreck.com. Tech’s first two games of the tournament can also be seen on FSN South, NESN, CSN Mid-Atlantic and FSN Florida/SunSports, and Saturday’s contest (as well as Sunday’s championship game) can be found on SportSouth, FSN Carolina, NESN, CSN Mid-Atlantic and FSN Florida/SunSports.

Tech in the ACC Championships

Linescores for each and every one of the Yellow Jackets’ 111 ACC Championship games are available on pages 87-89 of the 2009 Georgia Tech Baseball Yearbook. Shaded years indicate those in which Georgia Tech captured the tournament title (1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 2000, 2003 and 2005) while the Jackets also advanced to the championship game in 1984, 1991 and 2004.

Tech is 4-5 all-time at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, and the last time the Jackets played at the park was during the 1999 ACC Championships. Tech won the opening game of that tournament against North Carolina but then last two-straight (to Florida State and NC State) to end their title run.

Tech vs. Florida State (FSU leads, 63-39)

Georgia Tech snapped a six-game losing streak to the Seminoles by winning two of three at home two weeks ago, but Florida State still leads the series, 63-39. It was the first series win for the Yellow Jackets in three years, and the first time the series didn’t result in a sweep since 2004. (See stats pack at the end of game notes for 2009 box scores)

With the two victories earlier this month, Tech improved to 29-30 against Florida State under head coach Danny Hall. The Jackets hold the edge in neutral games, however, posting a 7-6 record against the Seminoles in those games. Florida State is 6-5 in ACC Tournament games against Georgia Tech and won the only game played between the two teams at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Tech vs. Miami (Miami leads, 45-24-2)

Georgia Tech trails the all-time series, 24-45-2, but won this year’s series against the Hurricanes, 2-1, in Coral Gables, Fla. (See stats pack at the end of game notes for 2009 box scores)

The two wins earlier this season pushed head coach Danny Hall’s record to 14-22 against Miami since 1994 and snapped a six-game losing streak in the series.

Georgia Tech is 4-2 in neutral site games, with the last meeting coming a year ago in the ACC Championships, when Miami outlasted the Jackets, 15-12, in Jacksonville. The two teams have never met at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

Tech vs. Boston College (Tech leads, 7-3)

Georgia Tech leads the series against the Eagles, 7-3, after winning the one game between the two teams earlier this season. The other two games in the series were rained out. (See stats pack at the end of game notes for 2009 box score)

Tech has never met Boston College outside of the regular season, and all 10 of the previous matchups have come on one of the two teams’ campuses.

ACC Pitcher of the Year Deck McGuire Leads Five Jackets on All-ACC Teams

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Haniger Tabbed Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalist

While catcher Jason Haniger continues to rack up athletic and academic honors, the senior has been recognized for his work off the field and away from the classroom as well. In March, Haniger was named one of 30 candidates for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes exceptional senior baseball student-athletes that excel in the classroom and competition but also give back to the community and are of honorable character.

On April 15, the list of candidates was narrowed to 10 finalists, and Haniger is one of three ACC baseball players included in the list of finalists for the award. A portion of the vote is decided by fans, who can log onto www.seniorclassaward.com daily (through May 31) to vote, or they may text BSB6 to 839863.

Power Surge

This season, the Yellow Jackets have smacked an ACC-leading 101 home runs, which ranks sixth in the nation and fourth all-time in school history. (See previous page of game notes for top home runs seasons at Georgia Tech)

The Yellow Jackets have eclipsed the 90-home run mark just 11 times since the program’s inception in the late 1890’s, with seven of those seasons coming under head coach Danny Hall. The Yellow Jackets hit home runs Nos. 100 and 101 in the regular season finale at Duke, marking just the second time since Hall’s arrival that Tech has reached the century mark.

Tech’s 101 homers have come in 50 games (the fewest played by any ACC school this season), to give the Yellow Jackets an average of 2.02 home runs per game – the third-best mark in the country in 2009. Tech is 33-8 this season when a Yellow Jacket hits a home run and 1-7-1 without.

Sitting Them Down

Not to be out-done by the offense, Tech’s young pitching staff has put in a masterful performance on the mound in 2009. The Yellow Jacket pitchers are striking out an average of 9.1 batters per game, which is the 10th-best mark in the nation and second-best in the ACC in 2009.

Bullish on the Bullpen

Georgia Tech’s pitching staff is holding opponents to a .250 batting average and 4.10 ERA over the last 19 games, but those numbers are highlighted by the impressive play of the Yellow Jacket bullpen.

During that span, the bullpen has allowed just 22 earned runs in 68.2 IP, which translates to a 2.88 ERA. That encompasses 51 total appearances by 10 different Yellow Jacket pitchers, of which 32 have been scoreless outings with only 11 of the 34 runners that the 10 pitchers have inherited actually crossing the plate.

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