March 23, 2006
ATLANTA–Fourth-ranked Georgia Tech (18-3, 3-3 ACC) hosts No. 2 North Carolina (19-3, 4-2) for a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. Gametimes are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday. Saturday’s game will be televised by FSN South.
The Yellow Jackets dropped to No. 4 in the national polls this week after losing two games at NC State last weekend. Tech spent the last three weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation, the 11th time in school history the Yellow Jackets have topped the national polls.
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. North Carolina)
Friday: RHP Blake Wood (5-1, 4.68) vs. LHP Andrew Miller (4-0, 1.91)
Saturday: RHP Tim Gustafson (1-0, 4.29) vs. RHP Daniel Bard (3-1, 4.05)
Sunday: LHP David Duncan (2-0, 6.27) vs. RHP Robert Woodard (2-0, 3.06)
GAME COVERAGE: Saturday’s game will be televised by FSN South. Radio coverage on 790 The Zone (790 AM in Atlanta/ online at: www.790thezone.com) on Friday and WREK-FM (91.1 FM/ online at: www.wrek.org) on Saturday and Sunday. Live statistics available at www.ramblinwreck.com.
Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina
Georgia Tech leads North Carolina, 55-46, in a series that dates to 1901. The Yellow Jackets hold a 28-21 advantage in games played in Atlanta.
The series has been very even in recent years. Tech and Carolina have split the last six meetings, and Tech holds a slim 10-7 edge since 2001.
Last year in the final weekend of the regular season in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels took two of three in the series. UNC won two one-run games to start the series, 5-4 and 6-7, before Tech won the series finale, 8-1.
Two years ago in Atlanta, Tech won the series 2-1. The Tar Heels have not won a three-game series in Atlanta since 1998. Tech is 7-2 against Carolina at home in that span.
Georgia Tech is 26-17 against North Caorlina under head coach Danny Hall.
Swinging the Big Sticks; Power Explosion in Raleigh
Georgia Tech had an offensive explosion in a three game series at NC State last weekend. Despite dropping two games in the series, Tech hit .333 with nine home runs and 29 runs scored in the three games. All nine of Tech’s home runs came in the final two games of the series, and Tech scored 28 runs on Saturday and Sunday after being held to one run in the series opener on Friday.
For the season, the Yellow Jackets are batting .310, and Tech is averaging 9.1 runs per game.
The Yellow Jackets led the ACC with a .319 team batting average during the 2004 season and a .333 team average in 2005. 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 six years (1994, 1995, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005) under Danny Hall.
Bullish on the Bullpen
Georgia Tech’s pitching staff has been bolstered by stong efforts from the bullpen. Tech’s releivers have pitched 83.0 innings in 21 games, posting a 3.25 ERA and a 7-1 record with seven saves. The main workhorses of the bullpen have been Tim Gustafson (1-0, 1.56 ERA, 4 SV), Matt Wieters (0-1, 4.09, 1), Brad Rulon (1-0, 2.70), Chris Hicks (3-0, 4.15) and Jared Hyatt (1-0, 3.38, 1).
Streaking in the ACC
Georgia Tech has enjoyed unprecedented success within the Atlantic Coast Conference since 2004, winning the ACC regular season title in 2004 with an 18-5 league record, and again in 2005 with a 22-8 mark. Tech had a conference-record 25-game ACC win streak in 2004-05
The Yellow Jackets have won 41 of their last 52 ACC regular season games.
The Yellow Jackets had a streak of 13 straight ACC series wins in 2004-05, and Tech has won 16 of its last 20 ACC weekend series. Tech has won 24 of its last 26 ACC home games and 22 of its last 32 ACC road games.