March 30, 2006
ATLANTA–Third-ranked Georgia Tech (21-4, 5-4 ACC) visits Maryland (11-16, 4-8) for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend in College Park, Md. Gametimes are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.
The Yellow Jackets moved up to No. 3 in the national polls this week after winning two of three games against No. 2 North Carolina last weekend. Tech spent three weeks earlier this season ranked No. 1 in the nation, the 11th time in school history the Yellow Jackets have topped the national polls.
Georgia Tech defeated Western Carolina, 19-5, in midweek action on Tuesday.
The Yellow Jackets began the 2006 season with 16 straight wins before dropping their first game, and Tech’s 16-0 start tied for the second best in school history. Tech set a school record with a 17-0 record in 2003, and opened 16-0 in 1987.
Pitching Matchups: (Georgia Tech vs. Maryland)
Friday: RHP Blake Wood (5-2, 4.38) vs. LHP John Dischert (3-2, 4.94)
Saturday: RHP Tim Gustafson (2-0, 3.54) vs. RHP Ben Pfinsgraff (1-3, 6.30)
Sunday: LHP David Duncan (2-0, 5.62) vs. LHP Casey Baron (0-2, 4.09)
GAME COVERAGE: Radio coverage on WREK-FM (91.1 FM in Atlanta / online at: www.wrek.org). Live statistics available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Georgia Tech vs. Maryland
Georgia Tech leads Maryland, 58-19, in a series that dates to 1921. The Yellow Jackets hold a 20-12 advantage in games played in College Park.
The Yellow Jackets have had the upper hand in the series in recent years, as Tech has won 10 of the last 11 meetings since the 2002 season. Since 1998, Tech is 21-2 against Maryland. In those 23 games, Tech has outscored Maryland, 259-88, an average of 11.2 to 3.8 per contest.
Last year in Atlanta, the Yellow Jackets won two of three games. Tech won the opener, 13-8, and the finale, 24-4, while Maryland won the middle game of the series, 2-1.
Georgia Tech is 33-4 against Maryland under head coach Danny Hall.
With this weekend’s trip to Maryland, Georgia Tech begins a stretch where it plays 14 of its next 20 games on the road. The Yellow Jackets play ACC road series in four of the next five weekends. Included in that stretch is road trips to Maryland, Virginia Tech, Florida State and Boston College, while Tech’s lone home series is against Clemson on Easter Weekend.
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 nine home games against South Florida, Duke 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. Tech’s releivers have pitched 96.1 innings in 25 games, posting a 2.99 ERA and a 9-1 record with eight saves. The unit has allowed just 12 of 51 inherited runners to score.
The bullpen has been especially impressive in Tech’s last four games. In that span, the unit has worked 13.1 innings, and has allowed just two runs on four hits. The Jackets had a streak of 11.1 scoreless innings from the bullpen snapped on Tuesday night against Western Carolina.
Pitching Staff Steps Up vs. North Carolina
After allowing 31 runs in three games at NC State two weeks ago, Georgia Tech’s pitching staff showed marked improvement in the Yellow Jackets’ three-game series against North Carolina. Tech’s hurlers held the Tar Heels to a total of five runs in the three games (1.67 ERA). North Carolina managed just 18 hits in the three games, a .186 average, after entering the series with a .348 team batting average.