The Good Word

TO: Fans, Friends, and Supporters of Georgia Tech Athletics

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

If you are a Georgia Tech sports fan, this weekend is for you. We have a slew of events starting Friday afternoon and running through the weekend. I hope you can take the time to join the fun.

On Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., our third-ranked Yellow Jacket baseball team opens a three-game series with Xavier. Last weekend, with the beautiful weather, nearly 6,000 fans made their way to Russ Chandler Stadium to catch our sweep of Missouri State. A two-game road sweep of Georgia Southern puts Danny Hall’s club at 5-0 heading into the weekend.

Following the Friday baseball action you can catch great women’s ACC basketball as MaChelle Joseph’s team enjoys Senior Night with a 6:30 p.m. tipoff vs. North Carolina. We will have a chance to honor our two seniors, Tiffany Blackmon and Brigitte Ardossi. It’s a “Pack the House” special with all tickets on sale for just $2. This is a critical matchup for our team as we are battling for a top-4 seed in the upcoming ACC Women’s Tournament starting next week in Greensboro, with just two games left in the regular season. We close it out at NC State on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Saturday will offer Jacket fans a three-sport day. Men’s basketball tips off at 12 noon vs. Boston College at Alexander Memorial Coliseum. At 2:30 our men’s tennis team takes on Georgia State across the street at the Bill Moore Tennis Center. And then at 3 p.m., it’s game two of the baseball series with Xavier. The baseball series finale is set for Sunday at 1. Whew!

ACC Men’s Tournament Tickets Available
Hey Jacket fans… the ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament begins in Greensboro on March 11 and we want you to be there for all the excitement. Our box office still has all-tournament ticket books available with your fellow Tech fans for $396. These books are good for all sessions of the four-day extravaganza. Just call the ticket office right away at 404-894-5447 or 888-TECH TIX (888-832-4849) and our folks will set you up.

Alumni Mixer at ACC Tournament
For those of you heading up to Greensboro, mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 10, when our Alumni Association stages a “Meet and Greet” for all Tech Alums. The Event is 5:30-7:30 at the Embassy Suites, 204 Centreport Drive, Greensboro, 27409. There is no charge for the event! Pay as you go for food and beverage. For more information contact Jane Stoner at jane.stoner@alumni.gatech.edu.

Hall of Fame and Sport Awards
Congratulations to longtime Tech play-by-play announcer Al Ciraldo, who was posthumously inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame last Saturday night in Macon. Al Ciraldo, Jr., did a masterful job in accepting on behalf of his late father. Also in the crowd were Tech greats Taz Anderson, Roger Kaiser, Billy Martin, Lucius Sanford, Wade Mitchell and Bobby Gaston, just to name a few.

On Monday, March 8th Georgia Tech will have a big presence at the annual Atlanta Sports Awards Banquet at the Fox Theatre. Award winners are kept secret until the night of the show, but I have a hunch the Gold and White will show very well at this year’s event put on by the Atlanta Sports Council.

Caravan on Campus and Beyond
One of our points of emphasis for this year’s season ticket drive is to reach out to our faculty and staff at the Institute. We probably have not done a very good job in recent years of inviting this group of our close family to become season ticket holders. Among some of our spring communication initiatives will be a “caravan” stop right on our own campus. This will be similar to our community caravans that you have become accustomed to in and around the state of Georgia. Wes Durham, Coach Paul Johnson and I will be on hand along with a host of other special guests. This event will take place in April on a date prior to our spring game, so if you work on the GT campus stay tuned for information on a date and location. We look forward to spreading the Good Word in our own back yard.

Baseball: Unbeaten and Impressive
Head coach Danny Hall, who recently earned his 900th career victory, has his team off to a sparkling start in 2010. The Yellow Jackets are 5-0 with a three-game series vs. Xavier at Russ Chandler Stadium this Friday-Sunday. The Yellow Jackets are batting .369 as a team, paced by Chase Burnette’s average of .667 (14-of-21). Tony Plagman already has four home runs. The Yellow Jacket pitching staff has a combined ERA of just 1.60.

Softball: Ranked High and Equally Impressive At 9-1
Coach Sharon Perkins’ softball team, ranked 11th/8th nationally, is off to a 9-1 start including an 8-3 win over Kennesaw State in the home opener earlier this week. The Yellow Jackets have been led by senior Jen Yee, who has been named ACC Player of the Week twice already this season, and freshman standout Hope Rush. Perkins and the Jackets play in a tournament in Columbus, Ga., this weekend.

Women’s Tennis: Falconi, Jackets Facing Tough Slate
The women’s tennis team, coming off a tough 5-2 loss to Clemson in the ACC opener, is 6-3 overall while facing a very difficult spring schedule. That tough slate continues this weekend when Bryan Shelton’s squad travels to Notre Dame and Northwestern before taking a two-week break. Irina Falconi, the nation’s No. 1-ranked player, continues to impress.

Men’s Tennis: Hosting Georgia State Saturday At 2:30
Coach Kenny Thorne’s tennis team, 7-3 overall, returns home to face Georgia State Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The Yellow Jackets, coming off a 5-2 loss at Florida State in the ACC opener, are led by Guillermo Gomez, who is the nation’s third-ranked player.

Golf: Off Until March 12-14
The nationally-ranked golf team, coming off a solid fifth-place finish in Puerto Rico last week, will resume action March 12-14 at the Southern Highlands Collegiate in Las Vegas. John-Tyler Griffin, the nation’s 13th-ranked player, led the Yellow Jackets in Puerto Rico with an 11-under par 205 and a fourth-place finish.

Track: At ACC Championships
The men’s and women’s track and field teams are in Blacksburg, Va., where the Yellow Jackets are participating in the ACC Indoor Championships. Men’s coach Grover Hinsdale and women’s coach Alan Drosky are both optimistic that the Yellow Jackets can improve on last year’s finish as the event begins today with the Heptathlon.

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