March 11, 2010
Live Stats: RamblinWreck.com
Live Audio: WREK 91.1 FM
Twitter Updates: Twitter.com/gt_athletics
Promotions:The first 250 fans to each game of the series will receive a free baseball card of one of the Georgia Tech players. Tech players will hold an autograph session following the conclusion of Sunday’s 1 p.m. game.
ATLANTA – The fourth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team opens Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend when Wake Forest comes to town for a three-game series at Russ Chandler Stadium. The Yellow Jackets (10-1, 0-0 ACC) and the Demon Deacons (6-8, 0-0 ACC) begin the series Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. pitch Saturday. The series concludes Sunday at 1 p.m.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Friday, March 12 (4 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech – Deck McGuire, RHP, Jr. (2-0, 0.82 ERA, 25 K’s)
Wake Forest – Michael Dimock, RHP, So. (1-1, 1.54 ERA, 5K’s)
Saturday, March 13 (2 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech – Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Jr. (3-0, 3.18 ERA, 8 K’s)
Wake Forest – Tim Cooney, LHP, Fr. (2-0, 1.35 ERA, 17 K’s)
Sunday, March 14 (1 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium
Georgia Tech – Jed Bradley, LHP, So. (2-1, 2.12 ERA, 27 K’s)
Wake Forest – Austin Stadler, LHP, So. (1-0, 6.88 ERA, 11 K’s)
No 4. Georgia Tech had its second consecutive mid-week game postponed Wednesday, as heavy rained moved the matchup with Mercer to Tuesday, March 23 at 6 p.m..
Georgia Tech remained as high as No. 4 in the Baseball America poll, and stayed at No. 5 in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll released Monday.
The Jackets swept three games last weekend against Rutgers by scores of 5-0, 19-5 and 9-4 at Russ Chandler Stadium. Friday’s shutout was the fifth of the season for the Jackets, and puts them just three shy of tying the school record of eight -held by the 1906, 1971 and 1997 teams.
The starting trio of Deck McGuire, Brandon Cumpton and Jed Bradley combined for 17 shutout innings out of 19 overall. The entire staff was superb as it recorded 29 strikeouts and only six walks in three games combined for an overall ERA of 2.67.
The Tech bats were torrid over the weekend as well, lashing 43 hits in the three games combined. In Saturday’s 19-5 win, Tech had a season-high 20 hits alone, as the 19 runs were the second highest game total this season.
Sophomore Matt Skole led the assault, batting 6-for-10 (.600) with a double, a home run and four RBI.
Sophomore Jacob Esch also was hot at the plate, hitting .583 (7-for-12), with three multiple hit games. He has had at least two hits in seven of the 10 games he has played in on the season, and leads the team with a .500 batting average (19-for-38).
Wake Forest (6-8) swept its home series with Xavier last weekend, before dropping two late-inning mid-week games, one against No. 8 Coastal Carolina and another against UNC-Wilmington. Redshirt junior Ryan Semeniuk and senior Mike Murray each hit .500 over the two midweek games, while Semeniuk extended his hitting streak to 14 games with at least one hit in each game.
The squad returns 19 letterwinners and five position starters from a 2009 team that posted a 22-30 record and finished sixth in the Atlantic Division of the conference.
Georgia Tech holds a 62-34-1 all-time advantage in the series against Wake Forest, going 31-16 under head coach Danny Hall. The two teams have played just six games since 2005, but 97 times overall since 1898.
Last Meeting: The Jackets swept the series in 2009 at Wake Forest Baseball Park, winning by scores of 13-2, 8-1 and 6-0.
JACKETS IN ACC OPENERS
Georgia Tech is 21-9 in ACC openers and has started conference play at home on all but four occasions since joining the league in 1980. The Yellow Jackets have won four of their last five league openers, and 12 of 16 under head coach Danny Hall.
How the Yellow Jackets fare in the ACC opener typically indicates how they will finish their first ACC series. When Tech has won its ACC opener, the Yellow Jackets have gone on to win the three-game series every year since 1992. The same is true for when the Jackets have lost their ACC opener. Tech has swept the first ACC series of the season 10 times under Hall.
The Jackets have begun ACC play against the Demon Deacons just once since Hall’s arrival in 1994, back during the 2002 season.
Following this weekend’s series with Wake Forest, the Jackets remain at home to face Georgia on Tuesday at Russ Chandler Stadium, in a televised game on CSS. Game time is set for 7:06 p.m.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT
Wake Forest is under the direction of first-year head coach Tom Walter, who spent the last five seasons as head coach of New Orleans. The Deacons are currently batting .276, having hit 15 home runs and 78 RBI. Ryan Semeniuk leads the squad at the plate with a .411 batting average on the season. He is tied for the team lead in homers with three, and second in runs batted in with 10. Mike Murray leads the team with 16 RBI, and is second in batting average with a .375 clip.
The Deacons are led on the mound by a group of young weekend starters. Sophomore right-hander Michael Dimock (1-1, 1.54 ERA) is the Friday starter and is leading the team in strikeouts with 17. Two south-paws round out the rotation for Wake Forest, as freshman Tim Cooney (2-0, 1.35 ERA) serves as the Saturday starter, while sophomore Austin Stadler (1-0, 6.88) closes out the series Sunday.
The pitching staff is limiting opponents to a .281 average, combining for a 5.82 ERA. The group is averaging 6.2 K’s/9IP.