Feb. 26, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech returns to Atlanta to host Rutgers for three games this weekend, marking the ninth-consecutive year the Scarlet Knights have visited Russ Chandler Stadium for a weekend series. The No. 8/9/12/20 Yellow Jackets will open the series with Rutgers Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. first pitch Saturday afternoon. The series will conclude Sunday at 1 p.m.
Georgia Tech was a consensus preseason top-25 team, and moved into the top-10 after sweeping Lipscomb on opening weekend. The Yellow Jackets currently appear among the top-15 in the NCBWA (8) Collegiate Baseball (9), USA Today (12) and Rivals.com (12) polls.
Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Rutgers)
Friday: RHP Deck McGuire (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Casey Gaynor (0-1, 1.80)
Saturday: RHP Zach Von Tersch (1-0, 5.40) vs. LHP Dennis Hill (0-0, 1.80)
Sunday: RHP Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 1.50) vs. RHP Charlie Law (0-0, 4.50)
Senior RF Luke Murton (.526-0-4-1) is pacing the Yellow Jacket offense early in the season, while freshman 3B Matt Skole (.400-2-7-0) has been a pleasant surprise, leading the team in HR and RBI. Sophomore CF Jeff Rowland (.381-1-4-4) has also picked up where he left off last season, and senior C Jason Haniger (.364-0-2-0) continues to impress behind the plate.
Game Coverage: The entire series can be heard on WREK Radio (www.wrek.org), with the first and third games being carried on the WREK-HD2 channel while Saturday’s contest can be heard on FM 91.1 in Atlanta. Live stats for all Tech baseball games can be found at Ramblinwreck.com.
Georgia Tech – After sweeping Lipscomb last weekend, the Yellow Jackets split a midweek series at Georgia Southern, falling to the Eagles (6-5) Tuesday night before pulling out a 5-3 victory Wednesday. Georgia Southern snapped its five-game losing streak to the Yellow Jackets by scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a one-run lead. Eagle closer Dexter Bobo then retired the next six Yellow Jacket batters in order to pull off the upset. The following afternoon, Tech jumped on the Eagles early, scoring two in the top of the first inning on a single from Jason Haniger before Matt Skole broke the game open with a two-run home run in the third inning, followed by an RBI double in the fifth. Kevin Jacob picked up his first career victory in his first career start, while freshman Mark Pope notched the first save of his career.
Rutgers – The Scarlet Knights took the week off after taking a game off Miami in Coral Gables last weekend. The Hurricanes hosted Rutgers for a four-game series at the newly-renovated Alex Rodriguez Park and won the first two games before splitting the final two. The Scarlet Knights are led by veteran pitcher Casey Gaynor, who took the loss in the season opener despite limiting the Hurricanes to just one earned run on five hits in five innings of work. Leading the Rutgers offense is Dan Betteridge, who hit .333 against Miami, while the Scarlet Knights batted .203 as a team.
Tech vs. Rutgers (Tech leads, 33-11)
Georgia Tech and Rutgers have met for a weekend series each of the last nine seasons and in all but five seasons since the arrival of head coach Danny Hall in 1994. The Yellow Jackets are 33-11 all-time against the Scarlet Knights, and 22-7 under Hall.
All 44 games of the series have been played at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Despite splitting the last four games of the series with Rutgers, Georgia Tech is 7-2 over the last three seasons against the Scarlet Knights.
McGuire Tabbed ACC Pitcher of the Week; SE Region Player of the Week
With a 13-strikeout performance on opening day, sophomore Deck McGuire received the Atlantic Coast Conference’s first ACC Pitcher of the Week honor for the 2009 season as well as College Baseball Insider’s Region Player of the Week honors. The Richmond, Va., native yielded just three hits and one walk through seven innings while combining on a three-hit shutout of the Bisons. His 13 strikeouts were the most by a Tech pitcher since the 2000 season, and eclipsed McGuire’s previous career high of nine, set against Georgia in 2008.