May 4, 2006
ATLANTA–Tenth-ranked Georgia Tech (33-12, 14-10 ACC) hosts South Florida (20-25, 9-12 Big East) for a three-game series this weekend at Russ Chandler Staidum. Gametimes are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
Georgia Tech is ranked as high as No. 10 in the national polls this week.
Both teams enter the weekend looking to reverse a recent slump. The Yellow Jackets have lost three of their last four games after winning nine of their previous 10 games. The Bulls have dropped four of their last five contests.
Pitching Matchups: (Georgia Tech vs. South Florida)
Friday: RHP Blake Wood (7-3, 5.16) vs. RHP Casey Hudspeth (5-5, 4.64)
Saturday: LHP David Duncan (5-2, 5.61) vs. RHP Daniel Thomas (2-4, 4.19)
Sunday: TBA vs. LHP Davis Bilardello (2-4, 4.19)
GAME COVERAGE: Radio coverage on WREK-FM (91.1 FM in Atlanta / online at: www.wrek.org) on Friday and Saturday, and on 790 The Zone (790 AM in Atlanta / online at: www.790thezone.com). Live statistics available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Georgia Tech vs. South Florida
Georgia Tech and South Florida have met on four previous occasions, and the Yellow Jackets hold a 3-1 lead in the series.
The Jackets and Bulls met four times over the 1988 and 1989 seasons, playing two games in Tampa in 1988 and two games in Atlanta in 1989. Tech swept the two games on South Florida’s home field, winning 8-2 and 16-8. The teams split the two games at Russ Chandler Stadium, with the Bulls winning 7-2 and the Yellow Jackets winning 11-3.
Georgia Tech will return the trip to South Florida during the 2007 season.
Offensive Short Hops
Fourth in NCAA in Scoring: Georgia Tech ranks fourth in the nation, averaging 9.0 runs per game. Troy (9.5), UNC Wilmington (9.3) and James Madison (9.1) are the top three.
Runs, Runs, Runs: The Yellow Jackets have scored 103 runs in the last 10 games, averaging 10.3 runs per game.
Bats Warm With the Weather: After hitting .299 through the first 24 games of the season (though Mar. 26), Tech’s offense has exploded by batting .346 over the last 21 games. Tech scored 8.6 runs per game in the first 24 games of the year before averaging 9.6 runs per game over the last 21 games.
Road Stretch Ends
Georgia Tech just compleged a stretch where it played 14 of its 20 games on the road. The Yellow Jackets played ACC road series in four of five weekends. Included in that stretch were road trips to Maryland, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Boston College, while Tech’s lone home series was against Clemson on Easter Weekend. Tech hosted Georgia Southern and Georgia in midweek non-conference action during this span.
The positive side to Tech’s road schedule in April is that the Yellow Jackets will not have to leave the city of Atlanta in the month of May. Tech plays 10 home games against South Florida, Duke, Wofford and Miami, and the Yellow Jackets’ lone game away from Russ Chandler Stadium is a May 10 matchup against Georgia at Turner Field.
Bullish on the Bullpen
Georgia Tech’s pitching staff has been bolstered by stong efforts from the bullpen. Relievers have pitched 188.2 innings in 45 games, posting a 3.10 ERA and a 15-2 record with 11 saves.
Over the last 13 games, Tech’s bullpen has allowed 11 earned runs in 60.2 innings, posting a 1.63 ERA and holding opponents to a .205 batting average. In that span, Tech’s opponents have pitched 59.0 innings in relief and have allowed 64 runs (8.24 ERA).
Avoiding the Big Inning
Georgia Tech’s last eight losses have one common theme, a big inning early in the game for the opponents which forced the Yellow Jackets to play catch-up the entire game. In six of Tech’s last eight losses, the opponent has scored at least four runs in the first or second inning.
Home, Sweet Home
Georgia Tech is 20-4 within the friendly confines of Russ Chandler Stadium in 2006, and is is 13-8 in games away from home.
Tech’s pitching staff has performed much better at home in 2006:
Site ERA Opp/Avg BB/9 IPHome (20-4) 3.58 .253 3.3Road/Neu.(13-8) 5.56 .314 4.6
Interestingly, Tech’s hitters are batting .309 at home while posting a .335 average in road and neutral games.