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Looking To Stay Hot, No. 12 Tech Hosts Rutgers This Weekend

March 1, 2012

 No. 12 Georgia Tech (7-2) vs. Rutgers (3-3)
 Game 10  Friday, March 2, 4 p.m.
 Game 11  Saturday, March 3, 2 p.m.
 Game 12  Sunday, March 4, 1 p.m.
 Location Atlanta, Ga. | Russ Chandler Stadium | Weather

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>> In a match-up of head coaches that have combined for more than 2,000 wins, No. 12 Georgia Tech welcomes Rutgers for a three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium this weekend.

>> The series begins Friday at 4 p.m., continues Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes Sunday at 1 p.m. All three games can be heard live on WREK Radio, 91.1 FM in Atlanta, with a live video stream available at

>> Rutgers is no stranger to Russ Chandler Stadium, having played here every season since 2001. Tech has won 10-straight in the series and is 41-11 all-time versus the Big East foe.

>> The series matches up two legendary head coaches in Tech’s Danny Hall (994 wins in his 25th season) and Rutgers’ Fred Hill (1,033 wins in his 36th season). Their combined win total entering the series is 2,207.

>> Friday’s starter — preseason All-America Buck Farmer — leads the ACC with 22 strikeouts, and is coming off a career-high 13 in last Friday’s win over Ohio State.

>> Tech’s offense has heated up of late, and the Yellow Jackets have scored double-digit runs in four of the last five (4-1). In that span, Tech is hitting .326 as a team with 26 of the team’s 57 hits going for extra bases and is out-scoring the opposition 50-29.

>> Sophomore Daniel Palka, carries a team-best eight-game hitting streak into the weekend. He, Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas have reached base safely in every game this season.

>> With an appearance in the 2011 NCAA Atlanta Regional, Georgia Tech returned to the NCAA Tournament for the 25th time in the last 27 years. The Yellow Jackets have played in the NCAA Tournament every year since 1985 with the exception of the 1999 and 2007 seasons, and made its 27th overall postseason appearance in history last year.

>> Since 2002, Georgia Tech has appeared in nine NCAA Regionals, three NCAA Super Regionals and two College World Series (2002 and 2006).

>> Prior to its recent streak, Georgia Tech had participated in the NCAA playoff just twice, in 1959 and 1971, with an additional play-in tournament appearance in 1948.

>> Georgia Tech made its first trip to the College World Series in 1994, advancing to the championship game before falling to Oklahoma, 13-5.

>> Under Danny Hall, Tech is averaging 43.3 wins per season, a figure that ranks 10th nationally since the 1994 season.

>> Rutgers is 3-3 and had this past week off before coming to Atlanta. The Scarlet Knights swept Old Dominion last weekend.

>> Fred Hill is in his 36th season as a head coach (29th year at Rutgers) and ranks 14th among active Division-I coaches in wins with 1,033.

>> Sophomore INF Nick Favatella is hitting .250 this season, but leads the club with nine RBI.

>> Rutgers was 20-30 last year and finished 10th in the Big East with an 11-16 mark.

>> All time, Tech is 41-11 versus Rutgers and the series dates back to 1988. All 52 games have been played in Atlanta.

>> Tech has won 10-straight games over Rutgers in the series, including a three-game sweep last season in which the Yellow Jackets out-scored the Scarlet Knights 33-8.

>> Georgia Tech remains highly-ranked in the major college baseball national polls this week, sitting at No. 9 in the NCBWA Poll, No. 10 in Baseball America, No. 11 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 12 Collegiate Baseball.

>> Georgia Tech was ranked as high as No. 9 in the 2012 preseason polls and the Yellow Jackets have been ranked every year in the preseason under Danny Hall.

>> Georgia Tech was picked second in the Coastal Division behind North Carolina, in the preseason poll of the league’s 12 head coaches.

>> UNC was also the pick as the overall conference championship, with the Yellow Jackets second.

>> Having spent his entire coaching career involved with winning programs, Danny Hall’s tenure at Georgia Tech has been his most successful, as he is the all-time winningest baseball coach in Yellow Jacket history with 784 victories at the school.

>> Now in his 19th season on the Flats, Hall is just six victories shy of becoming the 46th Division-I baseball coach all-time to reach 1,000 career wins.

>> Entering 2012, he was ranked 13th among active Division-I coaches in winning percentage (.679), and is 16th among active D-I coaches in number of victories (987).

>> Hall has led Tech to the NCAA Tournament on 16 occasions and guided the Yellow Jackets to the College World Series in 1994, 2002 and 2006, the only head coach in the program’s storied history to reach the promised land of Omaha.

>> Hall, 57, is 994-468-1 as a head coach, including six seasons at Kent State. At Tech, Hall’s record is 786-351-1.

>> Georgia Tech may possess two of the fastest lead-off men in the ACC in Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas. The pair are gap-robbers in the outfield, and have speed to burn at the top of Tech’s order.

>> Wren is coming off a two-triple game versus Kennesaw State and leads the ACC with three this season. He’s tied for third in the ACC in both walks (8) and runs (12).

>> With 10 career triples, Wren, a sophomore, ranks tied for 13th all-time at Tech.

>> Thomas is 3-for-3 in steals, has a home run, double and triple this season, and is second on the team with eight RBI.

>> Wren, Thomas and Daniel Palka have reached base safely in every game this season.

>> Kyle Wren had two triples in the Kennesaw State win and Brandon Thomas added one of his own, allowing Tech to match the school record for triples in a game with three.

>> Wren also tied a school record, as he tripled twice in the game, matching a mark that had been set 18 previous times – the last by Jeff Rowland vs. Missouri State on March 20, 2010.

>> The school record of three triples had been set 10 previous times, the last coming on April 14, 2010 vs. Georgia.

>> Sophomore Zane Evans, a year removed from a freshman All-America season in which he caught nearly every game for Tech, is proving his worth all over the diamond in 2012.

>> He’s started five games behind the plate, has made four appearances on the mound with save and nine strikeouts in 5.2 innings, and is hitting .321 with a homer and teaming-leading nine RBI.

>> Evans’ first home of the season was a three-run shot at Georgia Southern (F22) that broke an 8-8 tie in the eighth inning and gave the Jackets the lead for good. He picked up his first career save the Sunday before in a 5-3 win at Winthrop.

>> Evans hit .270 as a rookie with five homers and became Tech’s first everyday freshman starting catcher since Jason Varitek in 1991.

>> Thanks in part to the bat of senior Jake Davies, the Tech offense hit .331, slugged .529 and posted a .455 on-base percentage in going 3-1 last week (Feb. 22-Feb. 26).

>> Davies enjoyed one of his better weeks as a Jacket, going 6-for-13 (.462), slugging .923, with three doubles, a home run and leading the club with seven RBI. >> His three-run home run in last Sunday’s 13-4 win against Ohio State gave Tech the lead for good.

>> Davies set a career high with four RBI Sunday versus the Buckeye and matched his career high of three runs.

>> Tech is 7-0 all-time in games that Davies hits a home run.

>> Junior RHP Buck Farmer is coming off a career-best 13 strikeout performance in last Friday’s 12-4 win over Ohio State and currently leads the ACC with 22 punchouts. Farmer fanned half the 26 batters he faced in six innings of work to get his first win. He is 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in 12.0 innings.

>> Sophomore righty Dusty Isaacs has logged back-to-back quality starts and is 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA.

>> Grimes was brilliant on Opening Day and got Tech its first win, firing a career-long seven shutout innings and allowing just one hit with seven Ks in the 5-0 win over Winthrop.

>> Rookie righty Cole Pitts (2-0, 3.18 ERA, 15 K in 11.1 IP) has been impressive in midweek action.

>> With shutdown relief appearances from rookie RHP Josh Heddinger, sophomore RHP Zane Evans and junior closer Luke Bard, the Yellow Jacket bullpen has 41 strikeouts in 36.2 innings.

>> Junior closer Luke Bard, listed on the preseason watch list for the Stopper of the Year Award, has not been scored upon in his four appearances (6.0 IP) this season.

>> In fact, his streak of not allowing an earned run dates back to April 24, 2011 — spanning 10-consecutive appearances and 20.0 innings.

>> Bard has recorded one save this season, and with 11 in his career, stands tied for 10th on Tech’s career list.

>> Tech has displayed balance offensively over its 7-2 start, getting at least five hits from 10 different players and seeing 13 players score the team’s 66 runs.

>> Eleven different players have collected 2+ RBI, with a team-high nine each from Zane Evans and Daniel Palka.

>> Five regulars are hitting above a .300-clip, with Palka’s .371 (13-for-35) leading the way.

>> Five different Jackets have scored the game-winning runs, while four different players have collected game-winning hits.

>> Eight different players have swiped 12 bases, led by Brandon Thomas’ 3-for-3.

>> Georgia Tech is out-scoring the opposition 37-14 in the third, fourth and fifth innings this season — that includes an 18-7 margin in the third inning.

>> Tech will set a school record with 20 regular-season television games this season, surpassing the previous record of 15 set in 2003. This season, the Yellow Jackets are on six times as part of the ACC’s package — one nationally-televised contest at North Carolina (April 22) on ESPNU — and 14 others on CSS, Fox Sports South or ESPN3.

>> A record 43 baseball games involving ACC teams, including all 13 games of the ACC Baseball Championship in Greensboro, N.C., will be broadcast by the conference’s television partners this season.

>> Additional games on ESPN3, CSS and FS-South are possible and all non-TV home games will be streamed live at

>> Radio broadcasts of every Tech game — home and road — can be heard over the air on WREK (91.1), the flagship station of Georgia Tech baseball, and at

>> Georgia Tech turned a double play in each of the first four innings during last Saturday’s 7-3 setback versus Ohio State.

>> It marked the first time Tech turned four double plays in a game since Feb. 27, 2007 vs. Western Carolina at Russ Chandler Stadium — a 10-7 loss to WCU.

>> Georgia Tech has been ranked in the preseason Top 25 by at least one of the major polls (Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball, USA Today/Baseball Weekly) in each of Danny Hall’s 19 seasons as the Yellow Jackets’ skipper.

>> Tech has been a preseason Top 10 pick in eight of the last 14 years and a Top 5 selection in four of the last 12.

>> Junior RHP Buck Farmer and sophomore CF Kyle Wren were named to the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Preseason All-America Team, and Farmer also earned a spot on the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America list.

>> Junior LF Brandon Thomas earned mention on the Baseball America Preseason All-America team, which is selected by a panel of Major League Baseball scouting directors.

>> Sophomore Zane Evans was selected the No. 9 catcher nationally and junior Luke Bard was picked the No. 10 reliever in the nation by Perfect Game.

>> In College Baseball Daily’s list of the Top 100 college baseball players this season, Farmer was listed at No. 20 and sophomore 1B/OF/LHP Daniel Palka was 29th.


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