May 16, 2007
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech (31-20, 15-11 ACC) returns to Russ Chandler Stadium for the first time in nearly a month to close out the regular season with a three-game series against No. 3 Florida State (43-9, 21-6 ACC) beginning Thursday at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets and Seminoles will also meet at 7 p.m. Friday before concluding the regular season with a 4 p.m. game Saturday.
GAME COVERAGE: The first two games of the series can be found on SportSouth, with Wes Durham and Randy Carroll calling the action, while Saturday’s game can be seen on CSS, with Matt Stewart and Randy Carroll. The entire series can be heard on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org). Live stats available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
AT THE BALLPARK: Prior to Thursday night’s game, the Yellow Jacket baseball team will honor former Georgia Tech great Kevin Brown, who will be inducted into the State of Georgia Sports Hall of Fame this weekend. Friday night, fans are invited to participate in the final “Friday Night `80’s Music Trivia Night” at the ballpark, while Saturday’s festivities include honoring Tech’s three seniors pre-game as well as a post-game autograph session with the entire Georgia Tech baseball team.
The Jackets are coming off a 10-game road trip in which they went 5-5 with wins over No. 4 North Carolina, No. 17 Clemson and a sweep at USF. Florida State is 6-4 in its last 10 games.
After beginning the season 9-9, the Jackets have won 22 of their last 33 games.
The Yellow Jacket offense is led by OF Danny Payne (.393-4-35-18), catcher Matt Wieters (.376-10-56-1), OF Wally Crancer (.366-7-48-1) and SS Michael Fisher (.348-3-36-7). Georgia Tech, as a team, is hitting .297 on the year, and .317 over the last 15 games.
Florida State leads Georgia Tech, 56-37
Florida State leads Georgia Tech, 56-37, in a series that dates to 1959. The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels have played at least three games every year since 1992, and at least four times a season in seven of the last eight years.
After winning the first four games between the two teams in 2004, including a series sweep of the Seminoles and the Jackets’ first ACC Tournament game, the Jackets lost back-to-back games to hand Florida State the ACC Championship that season, but have won eight-straight games against the Seminoles since then.
Florida State’s last win over the Jackets was May 30, 2004, and its last regular-season victory against Georgia Tech was on May 4, 2003. Tech has swept each of the last three regular-season series against the Seminoles.
A Payne for Opposing Pitchers
Yellow Jacket junior Danny Payne not only leads the team in hits this season, but also in walks, and as a result has been a challenge for opposing to pitchers to keep off base. The centerfielder has reached base safely in all of his game appearances this season (he has just missed one game due to illness), and in 71-straight game appearances dating back to March 24 of last season.
Payne is believed to be only the second person in school history to reach base in over 70-straight games, and it is believed that Scott Jordan is the only former player to record a longer streak.
Hyatt One of Tech’s Top Pitchers in History
Yellow Jacket senior Jared Hyatt has quietly put together one of the most successful careers in Georgia Tech history, as he has recorded a 15-2 career record in his four-plus seasons on the Flats, which ranks third all-time in career winning percentage.
With an 8-0 record in 2007, the Marietta, Ga. native stands third for highest winning percentage in a season. Only two pitchers, Scott Erwin (13) and Mike Schisler (9) have recorded more wins in an undefeated season. The last time that a pitcher won at least eight games without suffering a loss was in 1988 (Scott Erwin).
Climbing Tech Career Records
A trio of Yellow Jacket juniors – Matt Wieters, Danny Payne and Brad Rulon – as well as fifth-year senior Jared Hyatt, senior Ryan Turner and sophomore David Duncan appear in the Georgia Tech career records and are steadily climbing the charts. The following is a list of where they stand:
David Duncan: Winning Percentage – T-20th – .722; BB/9IP – 6th – 2.58
Jared Hyatt: Winning Percentage – 3rd – .882; K/9IP – 12th – 9.44; Games Pitched – 9th – 79
Danny Payne: Stolen Bases – 9th – 62; Runs- T-10th – 196; Doubles – T-23rd – 44
Brad Rulon: K/9IP – 11th – 9.50; Games Pitched – 8th – 80
Ryan Turner: Games Pitched – T-20th – 65
Matt Wieters: Average – 13th – .364; Slugging Percentage – 17th – .607; Hits – 21st – 248; RBI – 7th – 195; Doubles – T-6th – 54; Home Runs – T-16th – 35; TB – 13th – 413 Saves – 7th – 16;
Wieters & Payne Named to USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award Watch List
Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters and outfielder Danny Payne have been named among 50 semifinalists for the 2007 USA Baseball Golden Spikes Award. The Golden Spikes Award is presented annually to the nation’s top amateur baseball player.
Wieters Also Tabbed to Dick Howser Trophy and Johnny Bench Award Watch Lists
Yellow Jacket catcher Matt Wieters has also been named one of 29 candidates for the 2007 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by AT&T, which honors the top Division I collegiate catcher and one of 50 candidates for the Dick Howser Trophy, which is given to the top player in college baseball.
Payne & Wieters Named to Preseason All-America Teams, Brooks Wallace Watch List
Junior catcher/pitcher Matt Wieters and junior center fielder/pitcher Danny Payne earned multiple preseason honors in 2007, including being named to the Brooks Wallace Watch List, which honors the College Baseball Player of the Year by the College Baseball Foundation. The Yellow Jacket duo joined 10 other Atlantic Coast Conference players to earn the preseason honor.
Wieters was also named a first-team preseason All-America selection by Rivals.com, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball and was tabbed a second-team preseason All-America by the NCBWA. According to John Manuel in the Baseball America College Preview, Wieters will be the 2007 National Player of the Year.
Payne earned second-team preseason All-America honors from the NCBWA, Rivals.com and Collegiate Baseball and was named a third-team preseason All-America by Baseball America.
Hyatt Rewarded for Work in the Classroom
Yellow Jacket relief pitcher Jared Hyatt has been named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District III first-team honoree, and as such is now eligible for Academic All-America honors, as presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Hyatt has already graduated from the Institute, earning a degree in management in the fall with a 3.22 GPA.