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No. 5 Jackets Step Out of Conference Play to Host Illinois-Chicago

May 6, 2010

Special Parking Instructions For This Weekend

Live Stats: RamblinWreck.com
Live Audio: WREK 91.1 FM
Twitter Updates: Twitter.com/gt_baseball
Promotions: Friday – Military Day (All military admitted free)
Saturday – Camper Day (Pizza for all returning campers)
Sunday – Mother’s Day (Drawing and essay contest)
*email essays to gtmarketing@athletics.gatech.edu

Game Notes

ATLANTA – After taking a week off for final exams, Georgia Tech’s fifth-ranked baseball team (36-9) will step out of conference play for a three-game series against Illinois-Chicago (17-23) this weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS:
Friday, May 7 (7 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Georgia Tech – Deck McGuire, Jr., RHP (5-3, 2.94 ERA, 84 K’s)
Illinois-Chicago – TBA

Saturday, May 8 (6 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Georgia Tech – Brandon Cumpton, Jr., RHP (6-2, 5.50 ERA, 36 K’s)
Illinois-Chicago – TBA

Sunday, May 9 (1 p.m.) – Russ Chandler Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Georgia Tech – Jed Bradley, So., LHP (7-2, 3.82 ERA, 72 K’s)
Illinois-Chicago – TBA

BROADCAST INFORMATION
The GT radio broadcast can be heard over the air on WREK (91.1), the flagship station of Georgia Tech baseball, and online at RamblinWreck.com. The games can also be heard online, free of charge at www.ramblinwreck.com.

Be sure to tune into the pre-game show 15 minutes before every game as play-by-play commentator Kyle Tait will preview the matchup.

SERIES PREVIEW

No. 5 Georgia Tech looks to rebound after dropping two straightweekend series with three games against Illinois-Chicago innon-conference action this weekend … The Jackets and the Flameswill meet for the first time since 2007, when Tech won two out ofthree in Atlanta … Friday is military day as all militarypersonal are admitted to the game free of charge. Despite going 2-2last week, the Jackets remained as high as No. 5 in the ESPN/USAToday Coaches poll.
UIC returns 15 letterwinners and eight starters (six position andtwo pitchers) from a 2009 squad that went 29-23 overall and 17-6 inconference play while finishing first in the Horizon League … TheFlames have won five of their last six games, outscoring opponents80 to 24 during that stretch … The squad is batting .391 in thesix games.

SERIES HISTORY

The two teams have met on only three occasions in school history, that being a three-game series in Atlanta in 2007 … The Jackets took the opener and finale to clinch the series en route to a 2-1 all-time advantage.

Last Meeting:
Wally Crancer had three hits, including a home run, to lead No. 14 Georgia Tech to a 6-3 victory over Illinois-Chicago on Feb. 18, 2007 at Russ Chandler Stadium. With the win, the Jackets won the three-game series.

UP NEXT
The Jackets return to Atlantic Coast Conference action with a crucial three-game series against Coastal Division co-leader Miami at Russ Chandler Stadium, May 14-16.

QUICK NOTES

Georgia Tech ranks third in the ACC in batting (.328) andpitching (.375 ERA), while leading the pack in home runs with 94and RBI with 403.
The Jackets rank among the top 10 in the nation in sevencategories: Scoring (9.7, 5th), Runs (437, 4th), Home runs (94,2nd), Triples (22, 6th), Slugging percentage (.590, 3rd), Walks(236.0, 8th) and W/L percentage (.800, 6th). Junior Jeff Rowland ranks in the top 10 in two categories alone: Runs(62, 5th) and Triples (6.0, 10th). Tech’s starting pitchers are28-7, and have combined for 262 strikeouts in 269.1 innings.Deck McGuire leads the way with 84 strikeouts, the second mostin the conference.
McGuire ranks in the top five in the conference in four differentcategories: Innings pitched (79.2, 1st), Strikeouts (84, 2nd),Opponent batting average (.229, 4th) and Complete games (2,T-1st).
Sophomore Mark Pope is 7-0 in eight starts on the season … He hasstruck out 57 batters and walked just seven in 57.1 innings.
Sophomore Jed Bradley is 3-0 in his last two three starts, having allowedjust 8 ER while striking out 17 in the three outings (19.0 IP). TheTech bullpen is 8-2 on the year, and 9-for-9 in save opportunities.Senior Andrew Robinson has made in 19 appearances out of the bullpen(25.1 innings) … He is 4-0 on the year and has recorded foursaves. Tech has hit a home run in 38 of the 45 games this season.Eight different players have gone yard at least five times, andfive have recorded double-digit home run totals.
The Jackets ran a streak of 18 straight games with a home runbefore it was snapped on April 24. Senior Tony Plagman is second in the ACC with 15 round-trippers thisseason.
Plagman leads the conference in total bases (127) and RBI (58),while third in slugging percentage (.722).

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YELLOW JACKETS IN THE RPI
Georgia Tech enters the weekend ranked No. 11 in the nation in the latest Pseudo-RPI (source: BoydsWorld.com). (The NCAA releases its RPI just once a week, and the Yellow Jackets are listed No. 11 in the official RPI released on May 5). The Atlantic Coast Conference is well represented in the most updated RPI, with five teams ranked among the top 20 in the nation. Virginia, ranked No. 4 in the country in the RPI, leads all conference teams while Miami (8), Florida State (10), Georgia Tech (11) and Clemson (13) all rank in the top-25. Only three ACC teams stand outside of the top-75 in the RPI.

A CLOSING TIME

The Jackets have been solid this season when it comes to closing out games. Tech is 28-1 when leading after six innings, and a perfect 31-0 when leading after the seventh. Part of the reason has been the Tech bullpen, which is a perfect 9-for-9 in save opportunities.

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CAUGHT IN A FUNK
The Jackets won a commanding seven-straight weekend series to start the season, going 19-2 in the 21 weekend games. Tech batted .358 and carried a .454 on-base percentage. The pitching staff was just as good, carrying a 2.95 ERA and holding opponents to a .254 average.

The Jackets have struggled in three of their last four series, however, losing three-game sets to Virginia, Virginia Tech and NC State. The team has gone 6-6, hitting just a .254 clip with a .331 on-base percentage. The mound is holding a 5.30 ERA and allowing opponents a .273 batting average.

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GEORGIA TECH MAKING A WISH COME TRUE

The Georgia Tech baseball team will hold its own make-a-wish day for a 16-year old teenager from Woodstock, Ga. Brandon Wimpy, who suffers from cerebral Palsy, will be the honorary captain during Georgia Tech’s game this Friday against Illinois-Chicago at Russ Chandler Stadium.

Wimpy’s favorite baseball player is junior catcher Cole Leonida, and his wish is to meet Cole and hang out with him before a Tech baseball game. Leonida will also present Brandon with a team autographed batting helmet prior to the game.

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WHITE TO GRADUATE 14 YEARS AFTER TURNING PRO

Fourteen years after signing a professional contract out of high school, Georgia Tech baseball volunteer assistant coach Matt White will receive a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Georgia this Saturday, May 8.

White, the seventh overall pick in the 1996 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants, spent 10 years (1996-2006) as a pitcher in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization. He joined the Georgia Tech staff on Sept. 1, 2007, and has served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Yellow Jackets ever since.

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1985 ACC CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM TO BE HONORED MAY 15

Georgia Tech’s 1985 ACC Championship team will be honored prior to Georgia Tech’s game against Miami on Saturday May, 15. Known as the “Joltin’ Jackets”, the ’85 team won the school’s first-ever ACC Baseball Title, the first of four straight for the Yellow Jackets.

Tech players will wear throw-back jerseys during the game.

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KINKELAAR NEARING DANCING STARS OF ATLANTA COMPETITION

Georgia Tech baseball assistant coach Tom Kinkelaar has been training at the Daza Dance Academy in Alpharetta, Ga. in preparation for his performance in “Dancing Stars of Atlanta” on Sunday, May 16 at The Foundry at Puritan Mill. Kinkelaar is competing to raise money for Alzheimer’s, and has raised $5,063 as of May 2.

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DIETRICH, PLAGMAN NAMED TO ESPN THE MAGAZINE’S ACADEMIC ALL-DSITRICT TEAM

Shortstop Derek Dietrich and first baseman Tony Plagman have been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District III first team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Dietrich and Plagman’s inclusion on the Academic All-District team marks the seventh-straight year a Georgia Tech baseball player has received first-team honors. Both student-athletes are now eligible for Academic All-America accolades.

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