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No. 9 Georgia Tech Set to Battle No. 23 Clemson

April 28, 2011

Game Notes

ATLANTA – The ninth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (30-12, 17-4 ACC) will continue Atlantic Coast Conference play with a three-game series at No. 23 Clemson (27-14, 11-10 ACC) this weekend at Doug Kingsmore Stadium. First pitch is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, 1 pm. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday.

Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Clemson)
Friday: RHP Mark Pope (9-1, 1.01, 80.1 IP, 67 SO) vs. RHP Dominic Leone (2-1, 3.66, 32.0 IP, 35 SO)
Saturday: LHP Jed Bradley (4-2, 2.98, 60.1 IP, 78 SO) vs. RHP Jonathan Meyer (4-0, 2.66, 44.0 IP, 46 SO)
Sunday: RHP Buck Farmer (7-1, 3.27, 63.1 IP, 68 SO) vs. TBD

BROADCAST INFORMATION
Saturday’s game will air live on FS South with first pitch slated for 1:06 p.m. Mike Hogewood (play by play) and Dan Bonner (color) will have the call. 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.

SERIES PREVIEW

Georgia Tech (30-12, 17-4 ACC) enters the week ranked as highas No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and Perfect Game USAtop-25 polls. The Jackets are also ranked in the USA Today/ESPNCoaches’ (11), Baseball America (12) and National CollegiateBaseball Writer’s Association (13) polls. Tech is coming off a 6-4midweek loss on Tuesday against Georgia at Turner Field … TheJackets swept Boston College last weekend in ACC play, and have wonnine of their 10 weekend series this season … Tech is in secondplace in the ACC Coastal Division, one game back from divisionleader Virginia. Friday’s game will be the 203rd all-time meetingbetween the two schools in a series that dates back to 1902 …Both Danny Hall (297) and Clemson head coach Jack Leggett (298) willseek their 300th career ACC win this weekend … Florida State’sMike Martin (356) is the only active ACC coach with over 300 careerconference victories. Clemson (27-14, 11-10 ACC) returns 20letterwinners and seven starters (four position players) from a2010 team that went 45-25 overall, tied for first in the ACCAtlantic Division (18-12) and reached the College World Series. TheTigers have won 13 of their last 15 games, and are coming off apair of midweek wins over Furman (W, 5-0) and Western Carolina (W,6-4) … Clemson is batting .313 on the season, second best in theACC behind Georgia Tech … The pitching staff commands are 3.45ERA.

SERIES HISTORY
Clemson holds a slim 100-99-3 edge in the all-time series … Tech won three of the four meetings in 2010, including a sweep during the regular season a Russ Chandler Stadium … The Tigers are 43-20-1 against Tech in games played in Clemson … The Jackets are 30-35 against Clemson since head coach Danny Hall’s arrival on the Flats in 1994.

Last Meeting: Clemson’s Richie Shaffer scored three runs and drove in three, while freshman Will Lamb pitched 6 1/3 strong innings to lead the Tigers to a 9-3 win over sixth-ranked Georgia Tech at the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championships on Mat 29, 2010 at NewBridge Bank Park.

The loss eliminated Georgia Tech from contention for the ACC title game.

QUICK HITS

Georgia Tech currently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference inhitting (.316) while holding the second lowest ERA at 2.83 …Tech’s batting average is tied for the 10th best in the nation,while the team’s 470 hits are tied for sixth … The pitchingstaff’s 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings rank fifth. The Jackets areoutscoring opponents 292-165 this season, and are averaging 11.2hits and 7.0 runs per game. Tech has recorded multiple hits in 27of the 42 games on the season, and in seven of the last 11.Freshman centerfielder Kyle Wren leads the ACC in hits (68) while second in battingaverage (.378) and third in runs scored (44) … His 68 hits arethe second most in the nation. Tech’s three weekend pitchers –Mark Pope, Jed Bradley and Buck Farmer – have combined for a 20-4 record … Pope is leadsthe ACC in six different categories, including wins (9) and lowestERA (1.01) … His nine wins tie for the most in the nation, whilehis earned run average is sixth. Georgia Tech has won 12 of itslast 13 weekend series, including nine of 10 this season … Theteam has swept five of them. The Jackets won 16 straight games fromMarch 4 to March 29, their longest streak since the 2006 season.Seventeen of Georgia Tech’s 34 players on the roster are freshmen… All 17 have played this season while 10 have made at least onestart.

YELLOW JACKETS IN THE RPI

Georgia Tech is currently ranked No. 8 in the latest NCAA RPIrankings (as of April 26)… The Jackets are No. 8 in the latestPseudo-RPI (source: BoydsWorld.com). The Atlantic Coast Conferenceis well represented in the RPI, with six teams ranked among the top25 in the nation. Virginia, ranked No. 1 in the country in the RPI,leads all conference teams while North Carolina (4), Florida State(7), Georgia Tech (8), Miami (11) and Clemson (12) all rank in thetop 25.

UP NEXT
Georgia Tech will take a week off for finals, before playing a non-conference weekend series at Illinois-Chicago next Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

LEFTOVERS FROM LAST WEEKEND
Georgia Tech picked up its fifth weekend series sweep of the season, winning three games against Boston College at Russ Chandler Stadium (2-0, 8-1 and 10-8). All three of Tech’s weekend pitchers recorded wins, as the 1-2-3 punch moved its record to a combined 20-4 … Pope (9-1) highlighted the weekend with his third complete-game shutout of the season in Friday’s 2-0 win … Junior Jed Bradley (7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 6 SO) paced Saturday’s attack with a quality start on the mound, while eight of the team’s nine starter had a hit and six drove in runs for the sweep on Sunday.

WEEKEND THREE ARE KEY
Georgia Tech’s weekend rotation of Mark Pope (Friday), Jed Bradley (Saturday) and Buck Farmer (Sunday) has keyed the team’s success so far this season. The 1-2-3 punch is a combined 20-4, with a collective 2.29 ERA (53 earned runs in 204 innings). Pope leads the crew in wins (9) and ERA (1.01). Bradley leads the crew in strikeouts with 78, while Farmer is currently on a seven-game win streak.

QUALITY AND QUANTIY
Quality starts (six innings pitched, three or fewer runs allowed) are pretty much the norm for Georgia Tech starters. Heading into this weekend, Yellow Jackets hurlers have 21 quality starts in 30 appearances. Pope is almost a given, as he has nine and hasn’t pitched fewer than seven innings since Feb. 25, against St. John’s, when he left in the sixth inning with a 13-0 lead. Buck Farmer and Jed Bradley each have six quality starts, with five each over their last seven starts. That means a lot of innings pitched. Pope and Farmer both are in the top 10 in the ACC, as Pope leads the ACC with 80 1/3, while Farmer is six with 63 1/3.

HALL CLOSES IN ON 300 ACC VICTORIES
Georgia Tech Head Coach Danny Hall has a chance to reach 300 conference wins this weekend. He enters this series with Clemson with 297 ACC victories. He has nine conference games left to reach the milestone. Hall, who has never had a losing season in his 18 seasons on The Flats, has averaged 16.3 conference wins per season. He enters the weekend with a career record of 975-457-1, a career .670 win percentage.

HOMECOMING
This weekend’s series will be a homecoming of sorts for freshman Daniel Palka. Palka’s hometown of Lyman, S.C. is just 50 miles away from Clemson. Tech’s designated hitter leads the team and ranks third in the ACC with eight home runs this season. He is batting .313 with 38 RBI and a .575 slugging percentage. Palka is coming off a 3-for-4 performance with a double and a home run against Georgia on Tuesday.

POPE SETS MODERN DAY RECORD FOR SHUTOUTS
Junior Mark Pope’s complete-game shutout masterpiece against Boston College last Friday was his third this season, and the fourth of his career. It set a modern day record, surpassing four others that were tied at 3. Craig Day (1903-06) and Ed LaFitte (1906-07) each had six in the early 1900’s.

EARNING EVERY BUCK After beginning the season in a 0-1 hole (including a no-decision in his first start), sophomore pitcher Buck Farmer has gone on to win seven straight games on the mound. Five of those have come against ACC opponents, giving him a perfect 9-0 record against conference foes in two years on the Flats.

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