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No. 6 Georgia Tech Closes Regular Season at No. 15 North Carolina

May 17, 2005

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C.–Sixth-ranked Georgia Tech (37-14, 21-6 ACC) wraps up the regular season at No. 15 North Carolina (37-14-1, 15-9-1) in a three-game Atlantic Coast Conference series at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill. The series begins on Thursday at 7 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally by ESPN2, and continues on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPNU.

Georgia Tech enters the final weekend of the regular season in first place in the ACC standings, ahead of Miami (19-7-1), Florida State (18-9), Clemson (18-9), North Carolina (15-9-1) and NC State (15-12). The Yellow Jackets’ “Magic Number” to clinch a share of the regular season title and the top seed in next week’s ACC Tournament is two over Miami, which plays at Clemson this weekend. Both Clemson and Florida State could tie Georgia Tech for the regular season title (with a 3-0 record this weekend and a 0-3 mark by Tech at UNC), but the Yellow Jackets hold the tiebreaker over both schools.

Georgia Tech has won 14 of its last 15 ACC weekend series and is 37-6 in its last 43 regular season conference games.

Yellow Jacket head coach Danny Hall won his 505th (currently 521-225 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 in batting .342 and runs scored ( 10.0 per game). The Yellow Jackets have scored at least nine runs in 33 of 51 games, reaching double figure scoring in 25 games. Tech is batting .361 and averaging 10.6 runs in 27 ACC games.

The Tech lineup features catchers Andy Hawranick (.297AVG/.367OBP/.457SLG, 4HR, 32RBI) and Matt Wieters (.384/.489/.610, 8, 61), first baseman Whit Robbins (.268/.422/.425, 3, 32), second baseman Mike Trapani (.341/.457/.467, 2, 18), shortstop Tyler Greene (.362/.449/.570, 11, 60), third baseman Wes Hodges (.421/.496/.627, 9, 46), left fielder Steven Blackwood (.368/.453/.508, 5, 61), center fielder Danny Payne (.293/.427/.404, 3, 33), and right fielder Jeff Kindel (.365/.483/.551, 3, 49).

PITCHING MATCHUP (Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina):
Thursday: LHP Lee Hyde (7-2, 4.50) vs. RHP Robert Woodard (6-0, 2.47)
Friday: RHP Blake Wood (9-1, 3.11) vs. LHP Andrew Miller (8-2, 2.65)
Saturday: LHP Ryan Turner (6-2, 3.29) vs. RHP Daniel Bard (7-3, 3.84)

GAME COVERAGE: Live statistics on the internet at www.ramblinwreck.com. All three games this weekend will be televised nationally – Thursday (ESPN2), Friday (ESPNU) and Saturday (ESPNU). Radio coverage on WREK (91.1 FM) and on the internet at www.wrek.org.

GEORGIA TECH VS. NORTH CAROLINA

Georgia Tech leads North Carolina, 54-44, in a series that dates to 1901. The Yellow Jackets and Tar Heels have played every year since 1980. The series is deadlocked at 17-17 in games played in Chapel Hill.

The Yellow Jackets have won 15 of the last 20 meetings since 1999.

Last year in Atlanta, Georgia Tech won two of three games in the weekend series. The Tar Heels won the opening game of the series, 9-7, but the Yellow Jackets won the next two games, 8-4 and 13-8, to start a streak of 16 straight ACC wins to close the regular season.

Georgia Tech has won five of the last six weekend series against North Carolina, including series wins in Chapel Hill in 1999 and 2003.

Georgia Tech is 25-15 versus North Carolina under head coach Danny Hall, including a 9-6 mark in games played in Chapel Hill.

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 .342 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. Sophomores Lee Hyde and Blake Wood are the only pitcher on the Tech staff with at least 100 career innings pitched or 10 or more career wins.

BALANCE OF POWER: Georgia Tech’s offensive success in 2005 is due in large part to contributions throughout the entire lineup. The Yellow Jackets have nine players with at least 30 RBI, while seven regulars are hitting .340 or better and ten different players have hit two or more home runs.

SOPHOMORE ROTATION SHINES: Georgia Tech has featured an all-sophomore starting rotation over the last month, using LHP Lee Hyde (7-2, 4.50) on Fridays, RHP Blake Wood (9-1, 3.11) on Saturdays and LHP Ryan Turner (6-2, 3.29) on Sundays. Turner, who began the season as the “midweek” starter, moved into the weekend rotation on May 1 at Clemson. The trio has combined for a 22-5 record and a 3.66 ERA in 213 innings.

RECORD SETTING WEEKEND AGAINST VIRGINIA TECH: The Yellow Jackets outscored the Hokies, 48-3, in the three game series last weekend in Atlanta. The Jackets hit .437 while the pitching staff posted a 1.00 ERA and held the Hokies to a .216 batting average. In Saturday’s 27-2 win, Georgia Tech set school records for most runs in a first inning (12) and most runs in a second inning (11), while tying the school record for most runs in any inning in an ACC game.

INSIDE THE ACC & NCAA RANKINGS: Georgia Tech is listed among the ACC and NCAA leaders in a number of different categories. The Yellow Jackets lead the ACC in batting (.342), runs (10.0/g), on base percentage (.444) and slugging (.517). In the NCAA stats (as of May 15), Georgia Tech ranks third in the nation in batting and second in scoring.

RECORD SETTING OFFENSE

Georgia Tech is batting an ACC-best .342 as a team and scoring 10.0 runs per game. Tech, which has been known for prolific offenses through the years, has led the ACC in batting in five of 11 years under head coach Danny Hall. The 2001 team set a school record with a .347 batting average, while the 1984 team scored a record 10.3 runs per game.

More impressively, Tech is batting .361 and averaging 10.6 runs in 27 ACC games.

STREAKING IN THE ACC

Georgia Tech has enjoyed unprecedented success within the Atlantic Coast Conference over the last two seasons, winning the ACC regular season title in 2004 with an 18-5 league record, and ranking first in the ACC standings in 2005 with a 21-6 mark.

Tech had a conference-record 25-game ACC win streak snapped on Mar. 25 at Miami, but the Yellow Jackets have won 37 of their last 43 ACC games.

The Yellow Jackets had a streak of 13 straight ACC series wins snapped Apr. 22-24 at Virginia, but Tech has won 15 of its last 16 ACC weekend series. Tech has won 22 of its last 23 ACC home games and 20 of its last 26 ACC road games.

Georgia Tech has streaked out to a 9-0 record in ACC play to start the 2005 season, sweeping series against Duke, Wake Forest and NC State. Tech’s 9-0 record is the second best conference start since joining the ACC in 1980.

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