May 23, 2004
ABERDEEN, Md. – No. 10 Georgia Tech (38-17, 18-5 ACC) clinched the 2004 Atlantic Coast Conference regular season championship with an 18-6 win over Maryland (21-32, 4-20) on Sunday afternoon at Ripken Stadium. The Yellow Jackets won their 17th straight game, the longest current streak in the nation.
After starting the year with just two wins in its first seven conference games, Georgia Tech finished the year with a school record 16 straight wins in the ACC and won its first regular season championship since 2000. The Yellow Jackets also captured the regular season title in 1987, 1993 and 1997.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall. “Anytime you line up and play everybody in your league and you finish first, it says a lot about your team. In particular, to start out 0-3 and then 2-5, and to get to where we are right now is a tremendous accomplishment for our team and our staff.
“It’s hard to win two games in a row [in the ACC], let alone this many in a row. It tells you how consistently that we have played as a team. I give our guys all the credit in the world. We were at a point at 21-17 where it could have gone either way, and they pulled it together down the stretch.”
With the win, the Jackets earned the #1 seed in next week’s ACC Tournament in Salem, Va. Tech will face the winner of the Maryland-Wake Forest first round game on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. The Terrapins and Demon Deacons will open the tournament on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday’s ACC Tournament schedule also features #4 seed Clemson and #5 seed North Carolina at 10 a.m., #2 seed Virginia and #7 seed Duke at 5:00, and #3 seed Florida State versus #6 seed NC State at 8:30 p.m.
Tech finished the regular season with 12 straight wins away from home, and the Yellow Jackets did not lose a road game after Mar. 20.
Tyler Greene paced the Tech offense on Sunday with three hits, including a home run, and a career-high five RBI. Eric Patterson went 3-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored, while Steven Blackwood went 4-for-6 with three RBI. Micah Owings had three hits, including his team-leading 15th home run of the year.
Tech’s 18 runs and 22 hits were season highs in an ACC game. The Yellow Jackets scored 43 runs on 52 hits in the three-game series with the Terrapins.
Freshman Lee Hyde (5-2) pitched five innings and allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on four hits while striking out five. He left the game after throwing just 66 pitches in preparation for next week’s ACC Tournament.
The Yellow Jackets took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on a RBI double from Greene and a RBI groundout from Blackwood. The Terrapins answered in the bottom of the inning when Matt Maropis singled and scored on Will Frazier’s sacrifice fly.
Tech scored three runs in the second to make the score 5-1. Patterson drove in two runs with a bases loaded single, and Blackwood added a RBI double. Maryland cut the lead to 5-3 with an unearned run in the second inning and a solo home run from Will Frazier, his ninth of the year, in the third.
The Yellow Jackets exploded for 10 runs in the fifth inning to take control of the game, 15-3. Tech sent 13 hitters to the plate and had nine hits, including seven consecutive hits. Greene had a three-run homer, his sixth of the season, and Owings added a two-run shot. Whit Robbins drove in two runs with a single, and Patterson and Mike Trapani added RBI singles. A RBI single from Patterson made the score 16-3 in the sixth inning.
After Maryland scored two runs in the seventh, Tech added two runs in the eighth on a RBI double from Greene and a RBI single from Blackwood. A RBI single from the Terrapins’ Kevin Hart made the score 18-6 in the bottom of the eighth.
Maryland starter Chris Bowen (4-4) took the loss, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings.