April 19, 2018
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech baseball (22-16, 9-9 ACC) will hit the road for a critical ACC Coastal Division three-game weekend series at No. 8 North Carolina (24-13, 12-6 ACC) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Follow the Action Live
All three games of the ACC series showdown is scheduled to be video streamed live on the ACC Network Extra (link located above).
The three weekend contests will also be broadcast live on WREK 91.1 FM radio and online at WREK.org.
Live stats for all three games can be found above or on the baseball schedule page at RamblinWreck.com.
Georgia Tech leads the ACC in base hits with 409 on the season. The next closest team to the Jackets is NC State with 379 base hits. Chase Murray also leads the ACC in hitting at .372 overall on the season, while Kyle McCann is tops in the ACC in slugging percentage at .698 on the year. Friday night starter Xzavion Curry enters the weekend tied in the ACC in wins with six overall on the season.
The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels are two of the four teams fighting for the top two spots in the ACC Coastal Division just a little over a half way through the conference regular season. UNC (12-6) is just a half a game behind division leader Duke (12-5), while the Yellow Jackets (9-9) are third in the division standings and only three games behind the Tar Heels. Tech holds the tiebreaker over Miami (9-9).
Sophomore Kyle McCann has hit a total of three grand slams over the last six games for the Jackets entering play this weekend at North Carolina. The power-hitting lefty hit his first career grand slam in a 16-8 win at Mercer on April 10, then launched another grand slam in the ninth inning of a 7-3 win at Pittsburgh on April 13. His third grand slam came this Wednesday in a 17-7 home win over Kennesaw State.
With the North Carolina Tar Heels ranked as high as No. 8 in the national polls this week, the Jackets will be taking on their fourth top-10 ACC opponent this season, with three of those four series coming on the road. Tech opened up ACC play at then-No. 6 Clemson (March 9-10) and then two weeks later played at then-ranked No. 6 NC State (March 23-25). Two weeks after that, GT hosted then-No. 6 Florida State (April 6-8) and now will take on No. 8 North Carolina in Chapel Hill this weekend.
Tech’s offense this season has been led by the big five in Chase Murray, Joey Bart, Tristin English, Kyle McCann and Wade Bailey. Murray leads the ACC in hitting (.372) and ranks in the top 10 in both hits (51 – fifth), runs scored (33 – eighth). Bart is tied for the ACC lead in runs scored (40) and is second overall in on base percentage (.483) and in total bases (93). He also ranks in the top five in home runs (11- third), batting average (.366 – third), slugging percentage (.641 – third), and hits (53 – fourth). English is third in the league in RBIs (42), fifth in doubles (11), eighth in both hits (49) and total bases (77) and 10th overall in hitting (.329), while Bailey is sixth in hits (47) and in average (.340). McCann leads the ACC in slugging percentage (.698), is second in home runs (12), fourth in total bases (81) and fifth in on-base percentage (.455).
Georgia Tech has hit a total of 13 home runs over its last six games. During that span, the Jackets have posted three multi-home run games with five home runs at Mercer (April 10), two home runs in the series opener at Pitt (April 13) and four home runs on Wednesday night versus Kennesaw State (April 18).
On Wednesday night, Kyle McCann recorded a career-high seven RBIs. His seven RBIs is not only a new career-high for a single game, but it is also the most RBIs in a game for a Tech player since Matt Skole drove in eight RBIs at Georgia back on May 22, 2011.
No. 8 nationally ranked North Carolina is the sixth top-15 team that the Jackets have faced this season joining Clemson, Auburn, NC State, Georgia and Florida State. GT is just 4-8 this season versus nationally ranked competition highlighted by a series win over then-No. 6 Florida State on April 7-9.
In ACC play this season, the Jackets pitching staff has fanned a total of 166 batters over 160.0 innings in 18 games. That is an average of 9.3 strikeouts-per-nine innings and a 9.2 strikeouts per game average for the Jackets in league play.
Saturday starter Connor Thomas has posted 64 strikeouts compared to just six walks over his 10 appearances on the mound this season. His strikeout to walk ratio ranks of 10.67 ranks first in the ACC and eighth nationally entering play this weekend at North Carolina.
The Yellow Jackets open up a seven-game home-stand on Tuesday night, April 24, versus the nationally ranked Georgia Bulldogs. First pitch for the rivalry contest is set for 7 p.m.