May 7, 2009
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s eighth-ranked baseball team will close out their 2009 home slate by hosting No. 6 Florida State on a busy weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. Game times are 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Events/Giveaways This Weekend
Prior to Friday’s game, which is sponsored by St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Yellow Jackets will recognize the Russ Chandler Stadium groundscrew, under the direction of Jon DeWitt, for their work on the field, which was selected by the Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) as the 2008 National Collegiate Baseball Field of the Year. Then during the game, one lucky fan will win 10,000 sky miles, courtesy of Delta Airlines.
On Saturday, the Yellow Jackets will welcome back all former baseball alums in a pre-game ceremony. The alumni will take part in a pregame letterwinners picnic before joining the team on the field during batting practice. The first 400 fans through the gates will receive free #17 Danny Hall T-Shirt Jerseys, courtesy of Russell Athletic, while Delta Airlines will be giving away 10,000 more sky miles to a lucky winner during the game, which is sponsored by the U.S. Army.
The Jackets will wrap up the weekend Sunday afternoon, with the first 500 fans through the gates receiving free floppy hats, courtesy of Russell Athletic. Tech’s pre-game festivities include recognizing the 2009 seniors, Jason Haniger, Chris House and Luke Murton, while mothers of this year’s team will join the Yellow Jackets on the field for the national anthem in honor of Mother’s Day.
Georgia Tech (31-11-1, 14-7-1) has won three straight, and four of its last six games, while Florida State (34-12, 18-7 ACC) enters the weekend riding a 14-game winning streak. As such, the Seminoles are ranked as high as sixth in the country (Collegiate Baseball), while the NCBWA (9), USA Today (10) and Rivals.com (10) all have Florida State ranked in the top-10.
The Yellow Jackets were a consensus preseason top-25 team who moved into the top-10 in the season’s first official polls. Georgia Tech has been ranked as high as No. 3 this season (by Collegiate Baseball in March) and currently appears among the top-10 in all five polls, peaking at No. 8 in the USA Today/Coaches’ Poll. Baseball America and Rivals.com has the Jackets listed at No. 9 in their respective polls, while Tech stands 10th in the Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA polls.
Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Florida State)
Friday – 7 p.m.: RHP Deck McGuire (8-0, 2.51) vs. LHP Sean Gilmartin (9-1, 3.15)
Saturday – 1 p.m.: RHP Brandon Cumpton (3-1, 4.47) vs. LHP Brian Busch (4-2, 3.92)
Sunday – 1 p.m.: TBA vs. RHP Mike McGee (4-2, 4.22)
Senior RF Luke Murton (.394-15-48-4), junior 1B Tony Plagman (.341-13-57-4) and freshman 3B Matt Skole (.313-12-43-2) are powering the Yellow Jacket offense in 2009, while sophomore CF Jeff Rowland (.354-6-29-17), senior C Jason Haniger (.331-7-41-2) and senior LF Chris House (.330-3-15-1) have been hot of late.
The entire series will be broadcast on television this weekend, with Friday and Sunday’s games being aired on SportSouth while Saturday’s contest, the ACC Game of the Week, will be carried on the conference’s Regional Sports Network (FS South, Comcast SportsNet, SunSports, NESN). AM 790 The Zone will broadcast the entire series, while live stats will be available at Ramblinwreck.com.
Tech vs. Florida State (Florida State leads, 62-37)
The Seminoles will look to extend their winning streak against Georgia Tech to seven games Friday night, and enter the series with a 62-37 record against Georgia Tech. Florida State has swept the last two series against the Yellow Jackets after Georgia Tech swept the prior two series against the Seminoles (2005 and 2006). Tech’s last victory against the `Noles came in the 2006 series finale, when the Jackets pulled out an 8-7 win in Tallahassee. Since that game, Florida State has outscored Tech, 80-32, scoring in double figures in five of those six games.
The Yellow Jackets are 15-22 against the Seminoles when the two teams meet in Atlanta and 27-29 since head coach Danny Hall’s arrival in 1994.
Haniger Tabbed Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Finalist
While catcher Jason Haniger continues to rack up athletic and academic honors, the senior has been recognized for his work off the field and away from the classroom as well. In March, Haniger was named one of 30 candidates for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes exceptional senior baseball student-athletes that excel in the classroom and competition but also give back to the community and are of honorable character.
On April 15, the list of candidates was narrowed to 10 finalists, and Haniger is one of three ACC baseball players included in the list of finalists for the award. A portion of the vote is decided by fans, who can log onto www.seniorclassaward.com daily (through May 31) to vote, or they may text BSB6 to 839863.
Murton Climbs Record Books
Yellow Jacket senior Luke Murton entered the 2009 season ranked 16th in school history with 49 doubles in his career. With 12 more this season, the outfielder has climbed to fourth place in the Tech annals.
Speaking of Murton’s power numbers, with 15 home runs this season, the Yellow Jacket right fielder has moved into a tie for fifth in the school record books with 42 home runs in his career. He has hit more home runs than any other Tech player over the last 12 years.
He also stands 10th in Tech’s career RBI listing (186), tied for ninth with 438 total bases and 23rd with 243 hits from 2006-present. (See page seven of notes for additional standings)
In mid-April, he became just the 21st player in school history to compete in 200 games. He currently stands tied for 14th with 210 appearances in his career and ranks 16th with 763 career at bats.
Takin’ it to the House
Chris House is having the best year of his career in his final season on the Flats. The senior left fielder has been nearly unstoppable of late and enters the weekend batting .393 (11-for-28) with five RBI in his last eight games. House has started 15 of the last 16 games in left field for the Yellow Jackets, and is batting .407 with two home runs, four doubles, 12 runs and 11 RBI during that 16-game span.
In 2008, Georgia Tech nearly doubled its home run output from the 2007 season and marked the biggest increase in home runs from one year to the next in school history. Last season, the Yellow Jackets belted 92 home runs, the seventh-best single season mark in school history and the fourth-most since Hall’s arrival in 1994.
This season, the Yellow Jackets have smacked an ACC-leading 89 home runs, which ranks seventh in the nation. Tech’s 89 homers have come in 43 games (the fewest played by any ACC school this season), to give the Yellow Jackets an average of 2.07 home runs per game – the fourth-best mark in the country in 2009.
The Yellow Jackets have eclipsed the 90-home run mark just 10 times since the program began in the late 1800’s. Six of those have been under Hall.
Tech is 30-6 this season when a Yellow Jacket hits a home run.
Wrecked by Rain
The 2009 season has marked several rainouts for teams throughout the nation, and the Yellow Jackets have not been immune to the delays and cancellations. The latest cancellation came Wednesday afternoon, when Georgia Tech was scheduled to travel to Chattanooga for game against Tennessee at AT&T Park.
This season, the Yellow Jackets have had six games cancelled due to weather – five to rain and the fifth, snow. Due to all of the cancellations, Georgia Tech has played fewer games than any other team in the ACC in 2009.