April 17, 2008
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s 21st-ranked baseball team will continue its string of five-consecutive road games, covering three cities over a seven-day span, this weekend when it travels to Maryland for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. The Yellow Jackets and Terrapins will play Saturday at 4 pm. and conclude the series Sunday at 12:30 p.m. Tech (27-10, 9-9 ACC) is coming off a 14-8 win at Georgia Southern Wednesday night, and the Terps (22-17, 5-13) have a two-game winning streak following a midweek sweep of UMBC and UMES.
The Yellow Jacket pitching corps is holding opponents to a .259 batting average, as eight different pitchers have earned wins in 2008. Closer Chris Hicks has collected a team-best eight saves for the Yellow Jackets and relievers Brad Rulon and Andrew Robinson have combined for 28 scoreless appearances in relief this season.
Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Maryland)
Friday: LHP David Duncan (4-2, 4.26) vs. RHP Scott Swinson (3-3, 4.82)
Saturday: RHP Eddie Burns (4-3, 4.22) vs. RHP Brett Jones (1-0, 4.94)
Sunday: RHP Zach Von Tersch (4-2, 3.07) vs. RHP Kevin Biringer (3-2, 6.53)
Georgia Tech’s offense is led by junior DH/RF Luke Murton (.355, 6 HR, 28 RBI, 3 SB), redshirt junior RF Charlie Blackmon (.348-4-25-13), freshman SS Derek Dietrich (.343-11-39-3), and freshman CF Jeff Rowland (.331-2-13-14).
Game Coverage: On-demand video coverage for Friday’s game will be available on ACC Select, while the series finale can be seen live on CBS College Sports (Dish Network 152 / DirecTV 610). The entire series can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org) and live stats for all Georgia Tech baseball games are available at Ramblinwreck.com.
Tech vs. the Opponent (Tech leads, 62-21)
Georgia Tech and Maryland will be meeting for the 84th time in history when the Jackets arrive at Shipley Field Friday night, and Georgia Tech holds a 62-21 lead in the series that dates to 1921. The Yellow Jackets have earned 21 of those victories in College Park, posting a 21-14 record on the Terrapins’ home field.
Tech has gone 37-6 against Maryland since the arrival of head coach Danny Hall in 1994, including a three-game sweep of the Terps in last year’s series in Atlanta. Tech’s last loss against Maryland came on April 2, 2006, when the Terps posted an 8-5 win to earn the series victory after knocking off Georgia Tech, 6-3, the previous day.
Yellow Jackets in the RPI
Georgia Tech enters the weekend ranked No. 9 in the nation in the RPI (source: BoydsWorld.com).
The Atlantic Coast Conference is well represented in the RPI, with five teams ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Florida State leads all conference teams, standing at No. 1 in the RPI, while Miami (2), North Carolina (3), NC State (8) and Georgia Tech join the Seminoles in the top-10.
Two of the Yellow Jackets’ 2008 non-conference opponents appear in the top-25 of the RPI – Coastal Carolina (11) and Georgia (12).
Georgia Tech is scheduled to play no fewer than 15 games against teams that currently appear in the top-25 in the RPI this season, with eight of those contests coming on the road.
Maryland is currently ranked No. 95 in the latest RPI.
In terms of schedule strength, Georgia Tech is ranked No. 31 while Maryland’s schedule stands at No. 116 in the latest rankings.
Updated Game Times
– The Jackets’ Sunday game at Maryland (Apr. 20) has been pushed up 30 minutes to accommodate TV – First pitch will now be at 12:30 p.m. and the game will be aired by CBS College Sports.
– Another game time that has changed because of TV is the Saturday game vs. Coastal Carolina on May 3. First pitch for that game is now scheduled for 4 p.m.
The Yellow Jacket offense has already hit 49 home runs in 2008, which stands just one home run shy of what Georgia Tech hit in all of 2007. Tech’s 49 home runs stand third only to Florida State and Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference totals.
The Jackets have also been blessed with a balance of power in 2008, as four different players have hit six home runs already this season. Derek Dietrich leads Tech with 11 home runs while Tony Plagman, Brad Feltes and Luke Murton have added nine, eight and six, respectively.
Ain’t That Grand?
Speaking of power numbers, the Yellow Jackets have made the best of their home runs in 2008, smacking five grand slams this season.
Brad Feltes leads all players in grand slams, as three of the senior third baseman’s eight home runs have come with the bases loaded. Derek Dietrich and Luke Murton have provided the other two for the Yellow Jackets this season.
Tech has hit two grand slams in the same game just once, and that occurred in the last game out when Feltes and Murton both had grand slams against Georgia Southern (4/16) … The Jackets have hit grand slams in two ACC games this season.
Holding Opponents to 6 or Less
Georgia Tech is 26-0 on the season when holding opponents to six or fewer runs, but when Yellow Jacket pitchers have allowed seven or more runs, Tech is 1-10. That one victory came in the Jackets’ last game, a 14-8 win at Georgia Southern.
The Yellow Jackets have scored over six runs just 14 times this season, and are averaging 6.7 per game in 2008.