The Good Word

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

FROM: Dan Radakovich, Georgia Tech Director of Athletics

It’s NCAA Tournament time for baseball and golf this weekend and I can’t think of a more fitting way to finish up the finest athletic year at Georgia Tech in recent memory. In my final edition of the Good Word before a summer break in two weeks, I will be presenting to you a breakdown of our team and across-the-board win-loss record that will show just what an amazing year it has been. However, before I release that data there is still more work to do.

First, a little fun fact we came across this week that should make your day as a Tech fan. Georgia Tech is the only school to have appeared in a BCS bowl, the round of 32 in men’s basketball and is now hosting an NCAA Regional in baseball. Only four schools even fit TWO of those categories: Texas, TCU, Florida and Ohio State.

NCAA Golf Championship
More on our baseball regional in a moment, but first we head north on I-75 where Bruce Heppler’s golfers are in the thick of the battle at the NCAA National Championship at the Honors Course near Chattanooga. If they can manage a top-eight finish after today’s (Thursday) play they will qualify for the eight-team match-play weekend that eventually crowns a National Champion. You can follow the team by clicking the live scoring link on ramblinwreck.com under the “Events Calendar.”

Baseball Regional at Russ Chandler Stadium
A little closer to home, Danny Hall’s baseball Jackets will host NCAA regional action this weekend. Alabama, Elon and the only other team in the tournament from the state of Georgia, Mercer, complete the field. This will definitely be the best entertainment in Atlanta over the weekend, so we hope to see some great crowds. The Jackets open play with Mercer on Friday night at 7 p.m. That game will follow the tourney opener between Alabama and Elon, which begins Friday at 3.

The tournament format this year calls for two games each day, Friday though Sunday, with an “if-necessary” finale on Monday night. Here’s a look at the 2010 NCAA Atlanta Regional bracket and game times:

Friday, June 4
Game 2 – Alabama (home) vs. Elon, 3 p.m.
Game 1 – Georgia Tech (home) vs. Mercer, 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 5
Game 3 – Loser, Game 1 vs. Loser, Game 2, 3 p.m.
Game 4 – Winner, Game 1 vs. Winner, Game 2, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 6
Game 5 – Winner, Game 3 vs. Loser, Game 4, 3 p.m
Game 6 – Winner, Game 4 vs. Winner, Game 5, 7 p.m.

Monday, June 7 (if necessary)
Game 7 – Winner, Game 6 vs. Loser, Game 6, 7 p.m.

Good seats are available and you can purchase full-tournament reserved seats or single game chairback or bench seating throughout the weekend. Clearly the best deal is the tournament ticket book, but to see college baseball at this level at these prices is the best bargain going. Call 1-888-TECH-TIX (1-888-832-4849) or visit Ramblinwreck.com. Ticket prices for the 2010 NCAA Atlanta Regional are listed below:

Adult, Single Game Chairback – $12
Adult, Single Game Reserved Bench – $10
Child/Student, Single Game (Reserved Seating Only) – $6
Adult Full Tournament Book, Chairback – $72
Adult/Child/Student Full Tournament Book, Reserved Bench – $60

I sure hope to see you at the ballpark. And, by the way, I am tremendously proud of our team for earning the No. 8 national seed in the 64-team field. This ensures us a host opportunity next weekend for the Super Regional if we are fortunate enough to advance vs. the winner of the Auburn Regional.

Two Honda Award Finalists
Two outstanding Georgia Tech student-athletes were named finalists for the prestigious Honda Sports Award, given annually to the top national performer in their respective sport. Sophomore tennis star Irina Falconi and senior softball sensation Jen Yee both were tapped as finalists.

Falconi is one of four finalists, along with Chelsey Gullickson of Georgia, Jana Juricova of California and Miami’s Laura Vallverdu. Falconi was named the 2010 ACC Player of the Year, the 2010 ACC Tournament Most Valuable Player and earned a spot on the 2010 All-ACC team. If selected, Falconi would become just the third Yellow Jacket to win the award, joining Kristi Miller and Amanda McDowell.

Yee is also one of four finalists along with Chelsea Bramlett of Mississippi State, Danielle Lawrie of Washington and UCLA’s Megan Langenfeld. Her 2010 awards already include ACC Player of the Year, First Team NFCA All-Southeast Region and First Team All-ACC. Yee was also a finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year Award.

Tennis Accolades
Additionally, I want to send my congratulations to Irina for reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tennis Championships and to our men’s top player, Guillermo Gomez, for reaching the round of 16. These are tremendous feats for both players and for Georgia Tech.

Moving on in Track and Field
I want to wish the best to three Yellow Jackets in track and field. Senior Alphonso Jordan (triple jump), senior Steve Marcelle (shot put) and sophomore Bianca Stewart (high jump) will now move on to the 2010 NCAA Outdoor Championships to represent Georgia Tech in their respective events after great regional performances last week in Greensboro. Festivities get underway at Hayward Field on the campus of the University of Oregon on June 9th and run through June 12th.

Caravans a Success
Last week we wrapped up another successful run of our spring Caravans as we were delighted to criss-cross the state of Georgia from Gainesville to Savannah to LaGrange and beyond. We were able to visit with hundreds of Georgia Tech fans and sincerely enjoyed our time in every venue. Thanks to those of you who attended our sessions and contributed to the camaraderie.

This year, our first stop — at the Cobb Galleria — was part of a new venture as the entire evening was web-cast to a group of Georgia Tech supporters in Tampa, Fla. This turned out to be a huge success as a number of Tampa-based fans met together to view the event live. Several questions, e-mailed to us from the Tampa group, were included in the Q&A portion of the evening. Stay tuned for information on how we plan to grow this technology in the future and perhaps have Tech fans world-wide dialed into our 2011 Caravan and other local events. (Click here to view the web-cast of the Caravan on April 29th.)

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