March 15, 2010
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ATLANTA – The third-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team will play its 10th-consecutive home game Tuesday, as it hosts Georgia for a televised game on CSS at Russ Chandler Stadium. Matt Stewart (play-by-play) and Randy Carroll (Color) will have the call as first pitch is set for 7 p.m.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Tuesday, March 16 (7 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech – Mark Pope, RHP, So. (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 7 K’s)
Georgia – Blake Dieterich, LHP, Fr. (0-1, 6.14 ERA, 8K’s)
Sophomore Mark Pope will make his first start on the mound since Feb. 23 after his last two scheduled appearances were postponed due to snow (Western Carolina, March 2) and rain (Mercer, March 10).
Georgia Tech moved up as high as No. 3 in the Baseball America poll, and climbed to No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and NCBWA polls released Monday.
The Jackets are coming off a series sweep of Wake Forest, and remain one of just two ACC teams to remain undefeated in conference play after the first weekend, the only with a perfect conference record in the Coastal Division.
In Friday’s win, junior right-hander Deck McGuire pitched outstanding in Georgia Tech’s ACC opening win Friday, holding Wake Forest to just three hits, while striking out eight in his first-career complete game. It was the first nine-inning complete game for a Georgia Tech pitcher since Eddie Burns threw one on March 21, 2007, and the first of the season for an Atlantic Coast Conference pitcher.
The Jackets rallied from behind for the win on Saturday (15-8) and Sunday (6-5), as junior catcher Cole Leonida brought home the go-ahead runs in both outings, a two-run homer on Saturday, and a RBI sac fly to right field on Sunday. Leonida now leads the team with a .449 batting average.
Georgia (8-8) took two out of three in a home series with Siena over the weekend. The Bulldogs won 9-3 and 12-7, before falling in the series finale Sunday by a 10-9 score.
Georgia Tech and Georgia will continue their baseball rivalry at Russ Chandler Stadium Tuesday, meeting for the 348th time in history. The Bulldogs own a 196-149-2 edge in a series that dates to April 21, 1898.
The Jackets hold the upper-hand in games played on the Flats, going 86-68-1 against the Bulldogs in Atlanta. Georgia Tech won four games in a row played at Russ Chandler, but did not play a home game last year as it was rained out. The two teams split wins in 2009, with Tech winning 10-6 on April 14 in Athens, before Georgia defeated the Jackets 7-5 at Turner Field.
The Yellow Jackets are 32-27 against the Bulldogs since Danny Hall’s arrival in 1994.
Following this Tuesday’s game, the Jackets will hit he road for just the second time this season as they travel to Maryland to continue ACC play next weekend in College Park, Md. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. Friday, as the series continues at 1 p.m. Saturday and concludes at 1 p.m. Sunday.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
The Bulldogs enter Tuesday’s game batting .301 at the plate, having hit 15 home runs and driven in 95 RBI. Georgia is led by sophomore catcher Christian Glisson with a .400 average, and sophomore outfielder Zach Cone, who is hitting .381. Sophomore Peter Verdin has also been strong offensively for the Bulldogs, with five home runs and a tie for the team lead in RBI’s with 14.
Georgia is led on the mound by sophomore Michael Palazzone, who is 3-1 with a 7.85 ERA as a weekend starter. Tuesday’s starter will be freshman lefty Blake Dieterich (0-1). Dieterich has made six appearances out of the bullpen for the Bulldogs, and has struck out eight batters in 7.1 innings of relief.