March 3, 2011
ATLANTA – The 23rd-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team will face its second Big East opponent this season by hosting Rutgers for a three-game series this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets and the Scarlet Knights will play Friday at 4 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.
Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Rutgers)
Friday: RHP Mark Pope (2-0, 0.71, 12.2 IP, 13 SO) vs. RHP Tyler Gebler (1-0, 1.20, 15.0 IP, 7 SO)
Saturday: LHP Jed Bradley (1-0, 0.71, 12.2 IP, 20 SO) vs. LHP Rob Smorol (1-0, 4.09, 11.0 IP, 11 SO)
Sunday: RHP Buck Farmer (0-1, 4.00, 9.0 IP, 12 SO) vs. RHP Nathaniel Roe (1-1, 3.95, 13.2 IP, 5 SO)
The GT radio broadcast can be heard over the air on WREK (91.1), the flagship station of Georgia Tech baseball, and online at RamblinWreck.com.
Live stats for all home games and most road games will be available on RamblinWreck.com to both media and fans. Click the GameTracker logo on the website to see play-by-play, player/team stats and much more.
Georgia Tech (5-4) enters the series ranked as high as No. 23by the USA Today/ ESPN Coaches’ Poll.
After winning two of three against then-No. 23 St. John’s over theweekend, the Jackets lost in midweek play, 6-3, to Georgia State onWednesday. Tech will look to end a two-game losing streak onFriday.
Friday’s game will mark the 50th all-time meeting between the twoschools, in a series that dates back to 1988.
Rutgers returns 21 letterwinners and five position starters from a2010 team that went 30-26 and finished sixth in the BIG EASTConference.
The Scarlet Knights (4-2) are coming off a series sweep of Michiganlast weekend in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
The Rutgers pitching staff currently owns a .259 ERA, while holdingopponents to a .213 batting average.
The team is batting a .236 clip at the plate.
Georgia Tech leads the all-time series with a 38-11 record after sweeping the three-game series in 2010. All 49 games of the series have been played in Atlanta. Head coach Danny Hall is 27-7 against the Panthers in since arriving on the Flats in 1994. Last Meeting: Jed Bradley struck out nine batters, and five players recorded multiple hits as the No. 4 Georgia Tech baseball team completed the series sweep of Rutgers with a 9-4 win on March 7, 2010 at Russ Chandler Stadium. Bradley allowed no runs and scattered just four Rutgers hits over 6.0 innings pitched.
Georgia Tech ranks fifth in the Atlantic Coast Conference inbatting average (.308), and fourth in ERA (.234). The pitchingstaff is second in the ACC in strikeouts per nine innings with10.04. Freshman Kyle Wren ranks third in the conference in hits with 15. Wrenand junior Matt Skole are tied for eighth in the ACC in batting averagewith an identical .429 average. Junior pitcher Jed Bradley has allowed just four hits all season, holdingopponents to a .098 batting average (leads the ACC). Bradley andjunior Mark Pope each hold a 0.71 ERA (12.2 IP). The Georgia Techhurlers tossed 21-straight shutout innings from the seventh inningof the series finale against Georgia Southern (Feb. 23) to thefirst inning of the finale against St. John’s (Feb. 27) … The 21consecutive shutout innings were seven shy of breaking the schoolrecord of 27. All 17 of Tech’s freshmen have made appearances inthe first nine games of the season while nine have made at leastone start … Seven newcomers have started on two occasions so farin 2011, a 7-4 win against Georgia Southern on Feb. 23 and a 6-3loss to Georgia State on March 2.
POPE AND BRADLEY FORM SOLID 1-2 PUNCH
Junior’s Mark Pope (2-0) and Jed Bradley (1-0) have given Tech a solid Friday/Saturday combination in 2011. Both pitchers hold an identical 0.79 ERA, having allowed just one earned run in 12.2 innings pitched. Bradley, who has allowed just four hits this season, is coming off an outing where he held No. 23 St. John’s hitless in seven innings pitched. Opponents are batting just .098 off of the lefty, as he has 20 strikeouts in two starts. Pope currently leads the team with a 2-0 record, and has posted a 13:2 strikeouts to walk ratio.
Freshman Kyle Wren has been the “table-setter” for the very young Yellow Jacket squad in 2011. Tech’s leadoff man is tied for the team lead in batting average (.429) and RBI (8), while leading the squad in hits with 15 and runs scored with nine. He opened his career on an eight-game hit streak that included a four game multi-hit streak. The freshman centerfielder also made an incredible catch, crashing into the wall against St. John’s to eliminate an extra-base hit.
SKOLE COMING OFF BIG WEEKEND AT THE PLATE
Junior Matt Skole had an outstanding three games at the plate to help Tech win two of three against then-No. 23 St. John’s last weekend. The Woodstock, Ga. native was 9-for-14 (.643) with two doubles, a home run, seven RBI, a 1.000 slugging percentage and a .643 on-base percentage. With 38 career home runs, he stands in 13th place in the Georgia Tech records books. He would need 20 more homers this season to surpass the current record of 57 round-trippers set by Jason Varitek in 1994.
With the starting lineup showing six and sometimes seven freshmen on a game-to-game basis, the Jackets have been hampered by some costly youthful mistakes. In losses to Kent State (6-1), Georgia Southern (6-5) and St. John’s (13-3), the Jackets committed five errors that led to 14 unearned runs.