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No. 3 Tech Baseball Hosts Winthrop in Weekend Series

April 7, 2005

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ATLANTA–Third-ranked Georgia Tech (24-6, 13-2 ACC) hosts Winthrop (21-10, 7-2 Big South) for a three-game, non-conference series this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. Gametimes are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Tech currently stands in first place in conference play with sweeps of Duke, Wake Forest and NC State, and series wins over Miami and Maryland. Tech had an ACC-record 25 straight regular season conference win streak snapped on Mar. 25 at Miami, but the Yellow Jackets have won 29 of their last 31 ACC games and have won 12 consecutive ACC weekend series.

Yellow Jacket head coach Danny Hall won his 505th (currently 508-217 in 12 years) game at Georgia Tech on Mar. 27 in Miami, eclipsing the previous school record of 504 wins held by current Miami head coach Jim Morris (504-244-1 record at Georgia Tech from 1982-1993).

For the year, Tech leads the ACC with a .347 team batting average, a .452 on base percentage and an average of 10.9 runs per game. The Yellow Jackets have scored at least nine runs in 23 of 30 games, reaching double figure scoring in 18 games.

Third baseban Wes Hodges (.442AVG/.527OBP/.750SLG, 8HR, 30RBI) has paced the Tech offense, leading the club in batting, slugging, and hits. Junior right fielder Jeremy Slayden (.390/.473/.659, 9, 42) leads the team in home runs.

The rest of the Tech lineup features catchers Andy Hawranick (.324/.407/.514, 3, 17) and Matt Wieters (.418/.537/.622, 4, 30), first baseman Whit Robbins (.247/.419/.376, 1, 19), second basemen Mike Trapani (.278/.424/.329, 1, 8) and Michael Fisher (.333/.395/.590, 2, 15), shortstop Tyler Greene (.344/.425/.578, 6, 41), left fielder Steven Blackwood (.349/.429/.541, 4, 47), center fielder Danny Payne (.344/.482/.484, 3, 24), and DH Jeff Kindel (.359/.474/.587, 3, 21).

PITCHING MATCHUP (Georgia Tech vs. Winthrop):Friday: LHP Lee Hyde (3-1, 5.31) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (7-0, 2.38)Satrday: RHP Jason Neighborgall (5-1, 5.03) vs. RHP Heath Rollins (4-4, 3.70)Sunday: RHP Blake Wood (5-0, 3.79) vs. RHP Ryan Nasiatka (3-2, 4.21)

GAME COVERAGE: Live statistics on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com.

Series Notes vs. Winthrop

Georgia Tech is a perfect 14-0 against Winthrop in a series that dates to 1992. All 14 games in the series have been played at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta.

The two schools last met during the 2004 season when the Yellow Jackets won a 7-6, 13-inning decision on Apr. 20. Tech was 21-17 overall going into that game, and the victory was the first of a 20-game winning streak that lasted through the remainder of the regular season.

The Yellow Jackets and Eagles are playing a three-game weekend series for the second time. Tech swept a three-game series in 2002, winning by scores of 6-4, 7-5 and 8-1.

Tech is 13-0 against Winthrop under head coach Danny Hall.

YELLOW JACKETS IN THE BIGS

Georgia Tech set an all-time high in 2003 when eleven of its alumni baseball players were on major league rosters during the season. Six former Yellow Jackets were on 2005 opening day rosters.

Pitcher Kevin Brown, a first-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers in 1986, is with the New York Yankees after leading the San Diego Padres and Florida Marlins to the World Series in 1998 and 1997, respectively. All-America shortstop Nomar Garciaparra begins his first full season with the Chicago Cubs after winning two American League batting titles with the Boston Red Sox. All-America catcher Jason Varitek led the Boston Red Sox to the 2004 World Series title and was named the Red Sox team captain in the offseason.

Outfielder Jay Payton, who played with the San Diego Padres in 2004, has been reunited with his college teammate Varitek with the Red Sox. Infielder David Newhan is with the Baltimore Orioles.

First baseman Mark Teixeira (Texas Rangers) won the Silver Slugger Award as the top offensive first baseman in the American League during the 2004 season.

Knocking on the door: There are seven former Yellow Jackets who are currently on AAA rosters – OF Marlon Byrd (AAA Scranton/Phillies), LHP Doug Creek (AAA Toledo/Tigers), RHP Steve Kelly (AAA Louisville/Reds), 2B Richard Lewis (AAA Iowa/Cubs), RHP Andy Mitchell (AAA Ottowa/Orioles), RHP Rhett Parrott (AAA Memphis/Cardinals), RHP Kris Wilson (AAA Pawtucket/Red Sox).

LEADING OFF … NEWS & NOTES ON THE YELLOW JACKETS

THE OFFENSE: The Yellow Jackets led the ACC with a .319 team batting average during the 2004 season. Tech has hit over .300 as a team in 19 of the last 21 years, and has averaged at least seven runs per game every year since 1981. Tech has led the ACC in batting in five years (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2004) under Danny Hall. Tech leads the ACC with a .347 average this year.

YOUTH IN THE PITCHING STAFF: Georgia Tech has only three upperclassmen pitchers on the staff – senior Jordan Crews and juniors Jason Neighborgall and Ryan Self. Tech has no pitchers with 100 or more career innings pitched, while Neighborgall and sophomore Lee Hyde are Tech’s active leader with eight career wins apiece.

TECH SETS ACC RECORD WITH 25 STRAIGHT CONFERENCE WINS

The Yellow Jackets won 16 straight ACC games to finish the 2004 season, a new school record, after starting the year 2-5 in conference play. Tech opened the 2005 season with nine straight league wins to extend its win streak in conference play to an ACC-record 25 games.

The 25-game streak is the longest regular season ACC win streak in conference history.

The streak was snapped on Mar. 25 at Miami. Nevertheless, Tech has won 29 of its last 31 ACC games.

HALL SETS TECH RECORD FOR WINS

Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall won his 505th game in his career at Georgia Tech on Mar. 27 at Miami to break the school’s record for career victories. Hall, who has a 508-217 (.701) record in 12 years at Tech, passed current Miami head coach Jim Morris (504-244-1 from 1982-93).

Hall reached 700 wins for his career in Tech’s 9-1 win over Georgia Southern on Mar. 1. Now in his 18th season as a head coach at Georgia Tech and Kent State, Hall owns a career record of 709-333 (.681).

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