April 29, 2004
ATLANTA–No. 23 Georgia Tech (25-17, 7-5 ACC) continues Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend at NC State (28-16, 9-9 ACC) for a three-game series at Doak Field. The two teams will play two nine-inning games on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m., and Sunday’s game will begin at 2 p.m.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a three-game sweep at Florida State last weekend that vaulted the team into the top four in the ACC standings. Tech took the week off from non-conference action for spring semester final exams. NC State dropped three games at Clemson last weekend, and the Wolfpack rebounded with a 9-4 win at UNC Greensboro on Wednesday.
Following the weekend series, Georgia Tech will host Duke for a three-game ACC series next weekend.
GAME COVERAGE: Live statistics will be available on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com. Radio coverage for all three games will be available on WREK-FM (91.1 FM in Atlanta) and on the internet at www.wrek.org.
LEADING OFF … NEWS & NOTES ON THE YELLOW JACKETS
WEB GEMS: The Yellow Jackets are fielding .972 as a team in 2004, committing 46 errors in 42 games. Tech’s best fielding percentage since records were kept in the 1950’s is .968, which was accomplished by the 1994 team that played for the national championship and featured Nomar Garciaparra, Jason Varitek and Jay Payton. The Yellow Jackets have committed one error or less in 25 of 39 games, including 16 errorless games. In 12 conference games, Tech is fielding .982 (eight errors in 12 games).
THE LINEUP CARD: Head coach Danny Hall has used 35 different starting lineups in 42 games this season.
IN THE BULLPEN: Tech has used 15 different pitchers this season, including 10 pitchers who have made at least 11 appearances. All 15 pitchers have made at least eight appearances, and eight different pitchers have started at least one game.
THE OFFENSE: After seeing the team batting average briefly drop below the .280 mark in early March, Tech has returned to its familiar ways of a potent offensive attack. The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC with a .310 team batting average, and Tech is averaging 8.4 runs per game.
Tech has hit over .300 as a team in 19 of the last 21 years, and the Jackets have averaged at least seven runs per game every year since 1981. Tech has led the ACC in batting in four years (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001) under head coach Danny Hall.
GEORGIA TECH VS. NC STATE
*** Georgia Tech leads NC State, 54-41, in a series that dates to 1921. The Yellow Jackets are 17-20 in games played in Raleigh.
*** Tech has had the upper hand in the series in recent years, winning six of the last eight meetings since 2002 and 19 of the last 28 since 1996.
*** The Yellow Jackets have been very successful in recent trips to Raleigh. Tech swept NC State at Doak Field in 2002 and 2000, and the Jackets have won 11 of 15 in Raleigh since 1994.
*** The Yellow Jackets went 3-2 against the Wolfpack in 2003, winning two of three during the regular season and splitting a pair of meetings in the ACC Tournament in Salem, Va. Tech won the first two games of the regular season series, 8-3 behind a strong pitching effort from Micah Owings (6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K), and 9-6 with two RBI from Owings, Mike Nickeas, and Clifton Remole. The Wolfpack won the series finale, 7-2, behind the pitching of Vern Sterry (7 IP, 1 R).
*** The two teams split a pair of meetings in the 2003 ACC Tournament. NC State’s Nate Cretarolo fired a six-hit shutout to lead the Wolfpack to a 6-0 win in the second round of the Tournament. Tech’s Eric Patterson delivered a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning in the championship game to lift the Yellow Jackets to a 6-5 win and their six ACC title. Tech’s win in the championship was its third of the day against teams that advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals (North Carolina, Florida State and NC State).
*** Georgia Tech is 24-13 against NC State under head coach Danny Hall.
“5” – THE MAGIC NUMBER
Although just 25-17 overall, Georgia Tech is 18-2 this season when the Yellow Jackets allow five runs or less. Tech’s only two losses when allowing five or less runs are against Virginia (3-4 and 1-2).
Since the arrival of pitching coach Bobby Moranda prior to the 2002 season, the Yellow Jackets are 90-6 when allowing five runs or less. Tech went 34-2 in 2003 and 38-2 in 2002 when allowing five runs or less. When allowing six or more runs, the Yellow Jackets are 31-45 since 2002, including a 7-15 mark this season.
TECH COMPLETES FIRST SWEEP OF FLORIDA STATE IN TALLAHASSEE
Georgia Tech swept a three-game series at Florida State last weekend, winning by scores of 11-4, 12-2 and 7-6. The Yellow Jackets’ three wins marked the first time Florida State has been swept at home in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series since joining the league in 1992, a span of 51 series. Prior to the weekend series, Tech was just 9-31 all-time in Tallahassee.
Georgia Tech Probable Starting PitchingSAT: Micah Owings, So., RHP (5-2, 3.46)SAT: Andrew Kown, Jr., RHP (6-1, 3.99)SUN: TBA
NC State Probable Starting Pitching SAT: Michael Rogers, So., RHP (6-2, 2.38) SAT: Vern Sterry, Sr., RHP (7-1, 1.79) SUN: Phillip Davidson, Jr., RHP (4-2, 3.00)