March 25, 2010
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ATLANTA – The third-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (18-2, 5-1 ACC) will resume Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend, with a three-game series against No. 17 North Carolina at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Friday, March 26 (7 p.m.) – Boshamer Stadium
Georgia Tech – Deck McGuire, RHP, Jr. (3-1, 1.15 ERA, 39 K’s)
North Carolina – Matt Harvey, RHP, Jr. (3-0, 1.97 ERA, 37 K’s)
Saturday, March 27 (6 p.m.) – Boshamer Stadium
Georgia Tech – Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Jr. (4-0, 4.82 ERA, 13 K’s)
North Carolina – Colin Bates, RHP, Jr. (3-0, 3.54 ERA, 24 K’s)
Sunday, March 28 (1 p.m.) – Boshamer Stadium
Georgia Tech – Jed Bradley, LHP, So. (3-1, 2.79 ERA, 39 K’s)
North Carolina – Patrick Johnson, RHP, Jr. (2-2, 3.25 ERA, 23 K’s)
Georgia Tech is has won 11 of its last 12 games, and has lost just once on the road this season … North Carolina is 14-4 at home, with two of its losses coming against Florida State last weekend at Boshamer Stadium.
The Jackets are currently in the three-way tie for first the ACC Coastal division with Virginia and Miami, all with 5-1 records in conference play. Tech is ranked as high as No. 3 in both the ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association of America polls.
UNC is currently in a three-way tie for fourth place in the Coastal division with a 2-4 record in ACC play. The Tar Heels are ranked as high as No. 17 in the polls.
North Carolina returns 16 letterwinners and eight starters (four position, four pitchers) from a 2009 team that was 48-18 overall (19-10 ACC, 1st Coastal), and reached the College World Series for the fourth-straight year.
Georgia Tech holds a 61-53 lead in the all-time series against North Carolina … The home team has had the upper-hand in each meeting however, as UNC leads 23-20 in games played in Chapel Hill, while Tech is 31-25 against the Heels’ on the Flats … The Jackets have not won a series in Chapel Hill since the 2003 … This is the first time that Tech will play in the renovated version of Boshamer Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets are 31-22 against North Carolina since Danny Hall’s arrival in 1994.
Tech lost two out of three to against UNC in 2009 at Russ Chandler Stadium … Both losses were by a combined four runs, while Tech won the second game of the series, 10-6, in 11 innings.
Following the weekend series with North Carolina, Tech will play a mid-week game at Georgia State Tuesday (March 30), and another at Kennesaw State Wednesday.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
North Carolina is batting .317 on the year, having hit 40 doubles, 10 triples, 14 homers and 163 RBI. Dillon Hazlett (.346) , Ryan Graepel (.342) and Jesse Wierzbicki (.342) lead the team at the plate. Wierzbicki has hit four homers with 24 RBI, while Hazlett leads the team with 25 runs batted in.
The Carolina pitching staff owns a .365 record, led by Friday starter Matt Harvey’s 1.97 ERA. Harvey’s 37 strikeouts are the fourth most in the conference.
GT ranks second in the conference in batting average (.354)while holding the top spot in ERA at 3.07.
Entering the week, the Jackets rank top five in the country inscoring (10.3, 5th), home runs (40, 2nd), slugging percentage(.620, 3rd) and ERA (2.80, 5th).
Tech’s starting pitchers are 14-2, and have combined for 123strikeouts. Weekend starters Deck McGuire and Jed Bradley each have 39 K’s on the year, which tie for thesecond most in the conference.
The Jackets have recorded five shutouts on the year, three shy oftrying the school record of eight – held by the 1906, 1971 and 1997teams.
The Jackets have scored double digit runs 10 times this season, andfour games in a row now.
Tech has hit 46 home runs so far this season, an average of 2.3 pergame. Seven different players have hit at least four homers, led bysenior Tony Plagman’s eight.
Junior Derek Dietrich has started 140 consecutive games at shortstop,every game of his career.
Tech has produced 15 different hitting lineups in 20 games thisseason.
12 different players had a hit in the 19-4 win over MercerWednesday, including all nine starters.