May 27, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech has earned its 29th all-time berth in the NCAA Tournament, and the Yellow Jackets are the No. 2-seed in Nashville and will face No. 3-seed Illinois Friday at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN3 at Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field.
The 2013 NCAA Tournament pairings were announced Monday afternoon on ESPNU. Vanderbilt is the nation’s overall No. 2-seed, and the Commodores battle East Tennessee Friday at 7 p.m. ET. The winner of the four-team, double-elimination regional faces the Louisville Regional winner in Super Regional play, June 7-10.
Vanderbilt Regional Schedule
Friday, May 31
Game 1: 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT) – 2 Georgia Tech vs. 3 Illinois (ESPN3)
Game 2: 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) – 1 Vanderbilt vs. 4 East Tennessee State (ESPNU)
Saturday, June 1
Game 3: 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT): Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 4: 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT): Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Sunday, June 2
Game 5: 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT): Loser Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3 (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Game 6: 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT): Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (ESPNU/ESPN3)
Monday, June 3
Game 7: 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT): If necessary (ESPNU/ESPN3)
“I’m very proud of our NCAA tradition,” said head coach Danny Hall, who has led Tech to the NCAA Tournament 18 times in his 20 years on the Flats. “It’s a tremendous accomplish and I’m very proud of our team. That will be four very good teams in the Vanderbilt Regional and it’ll be something that we look forward to.
“We’re going to have to do some work to see what Illinois is all about. Obviously they must be good. They have a very good RPI, so they’ve played a good schedule, and we’ll have to be ready to go on Friday.”
The Jackets are 3-1 all-time versus Illinois, but have not played the Illini since 1930. Tech last met Vanderbilt during the 2006 Atlanta Regional, and took two games from the Commodores en route to a regional title and ultimately the College World Series. The all-time Vandy series favors Tech, 58-35-1. All-time versus East Tennessee State, the Jackets are 23-1.
“We’re all pretty excited for the opportunity to play another good team,” said junior catcher Zane Evans. “Their (Illinois) RPI’s in the 30 so they’re going to be a good ball club. Any team in it at this point is going to be a good ball club, so we’ve got to go out there and play well every game.”
Tech has appeared in six consecutive NCAA Regionals, in 27 of the last 29 and in 29 all time. Over the last 29 years, only the 29 appearances by Florida State and Miami lead Tech’s 27 berths in that span.
Tech is 65-57 (.533) in NCAA Tournament action, that includes a 4-5 record in three trips to the College World Series (1994, 2002 and 2006). Away from Russ Chandler Stadium, the Jackets are 37-38 (.493) in the NCAA postseason, including the CWS.
Tech is one of a league record-tying eight Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the 2013 field, including three of the top eight national seeds. ACC Champion North Carolina was awarded the No. 1 overall seed. Virginia earned a No. 6 national seeding, while ACC Atlantic Division champion Florida State is seeded seventh nationally.
North Carolina (52-8), Virginia (47-10), NC State (44-14), Florida State (44-15) and Virginia Tech (38-20) were named as Regional host schools by the NCAA on Sunday, giving the ACC a national-best number of Regional hosts. Clemson (39-20), Georgia Tech (34-25) and Miami (36-23) round out the ACC’s representation.
About the University of Illinois
Illinois brings a 34-18 record to Nashville, going 14-10 in the Big Ten which was good for a tie for fifth. The Illini are 21-13 in games away from home. Senior OF Justin Parr was the Big Ten Player of the Year and has started all 52 games for Illinois. He is hitting .399 with 14 doubles, six homers and 51 RBI, to pace an offense that bats .298 as a team, averages 6.2 runs per game and has stolen 106 bases. Big Ten Freshman of the Year, lefty Kevin Duchene, anchors the pitching staff with a 2.69 ERA and 8-1 record.
** Tech has played in the Regional title game in each of its last 11 NCAA appearances.
** For the second year in a row, Tech is placed in the same bracket as a highly-seeded SEC school. Last year, the Jackets were the No. 2-seed at Florida, which was the nation’s overall No. 1-seed.
** For the second-straight year Tech will battle a conference’s player of the year in opening game of the regional – last year it was College of Charleston’s Marty Gantt, and this year it’s Justin Parr of Illinois.
** The four teams in the Vanderbilt Regional have combined for 390 stolen bases — Vandy with 126, Illinois wil 107, ETSU with 87 and Tech with 70.
** ETSU’s head coach is Tony Skole, the uncle of former Yellow Jacket 3B Matt Skole.