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No. 9 Georgia Tech to Host Georgia on Tuesday; Follow The Live Blog

April 11, 2011

GT Baseball vs. Georgia

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Live TV: CSS
Live Audio:WREK 91.1

ATLANTA – The ninth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team will host Georgia at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Russ Chandler Stadium, in game two of the three game midweek series between the two rivals. The game will be televised live on CSS.

Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Georgia)
Tuesday: RHP Matthew Grimes (4-1, 3.82, 37.2 IP, 34 SO) vs. LHP Chase Hawkins (1-1, 4.55, 29.2, 12 SO)

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.

SERIES PREVIEW

Georgia Tech (24-9) enters the week ranked as high as No. 9 inthe Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll. The Jackets are also rankedin the USA Today/ESPN Coaches’ (12), Perfect Game Top-25 (12),National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s Association (15) and BaseballAmerica (15) polls. The Jackets had their streak of 10 consecutiveseries wins snapped over the weekend, dropping two of three againstNo. 1 Virginia … Tech rallied to win the series finale andremains one game back in the ACC Coastal Division standings.Tuesday’s game will mark the 352nd all-time meeting between the twoschools in a series that dates back to 1898 … Georgia holds a196-153-2 all-time lead in the series, but the Jackets have wonfive of the last six meeting, including four straight dating backto 2009. Georgia Tech and Georgia will conclude the series with theChildren’s Healthcare of Atlanta Spring Classic for Kids game onApril 26th at Turner Field. Georgia (18-15) returns 21letterwinners and seven position starters from a 2010 team thatfinished 16-37 overall and sixth in the SEC East. The Bulldogs havewon seven of their last eight games, coming off a series winagainst Mississippi over the weekend … Georgia won seven straightbefore falling in the series finale on Sunday.

SERIES HISTORY
Georgia holds a 196-153-2 all-time advantage in the series between the two schools … Tech has won five of the last six meetings, including four in a row … The Jackets are 36-27 against the Bulldogs since head coach Danny Hall’s arrival on the Flats in 1994 … Tech is 87-68 against Georgia in games played on the Flats.

Last Meeting: Junior Matt Skole drove in a career-high eight runs on five hits to power the Georgia Tech baseball team over arch-rival Georgia, 15-6, on Tuesday March 22 at Foley Field.

Skole’s eight RBI were the most by a player in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season, as he belted two home runs, including a grand slam on the night. He was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate, and also drew a walk.

QUICK HITS

Georgia Tech currently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference inhitting (.326) while holding the second best ERA at 2.68. TheJackets are outscoring opponents 245-129 this season, and average11.7 hits and 7.4 runs per game. Freshman centerfielder Kyle Wren leads the ACC in hits (59) and runs scored (38),while second in batting average (.418) … Juniors Jake Davies (.402, 3rd) and Matt Skole (.385, 4th) combine with Wren to give Tech three ofthe top-four averages in the conference. Davies is currently on aneight game hit streak … The Jackets are 20-3 in games that Davieshas started at first base. Despite losing two of three to No. 1Virginia over the weekend, the Jackets scored 21 runs against thetop pitching staff in the ACC, the most runs allowed by theCavaliers in a three-game weekend series this season. Virginia hadallowed just 13 runs combined in its previous 10 games. GeorgiaTech won 16 straight games from March 4 to March 29, its longeststreak since the 2006 season. Seventeen of Georgia Tech’s 34players on the roster are freshmen … All 17 have played thisseason while 10 have made at least one start.

YELLOW JACKETS IN THE RPI

Georgia Tech is currently ranked No. 5 in the latest NCAA RPIrankings (as of April 5)… The Jackets are also No. 5 in thelatest Pseudo-RPI (source: BoydsWorld.com). The Atlantic CoastConference is well represented in the RPI, with five teams rankedamong the top 25 in the nation. Virginia, ranked No. 3 in thecountry in the RPI, leads all conference teams while North Carolina(4), Georgia Tech (5), Florida State (11) and Clemson (13) all rankin the top 25.

DAVIES PROVIDES RELIEF IN ANOTHER WAY
Entering the 2011 season, the Jackets had big shoes to fill at first base after the departure of All-American Tony Plagman. Junior Jake Davies, who served as one of the primary relievers in the bullpen the past two seasons with over 40 career appearances on the mound, has blossomed into the new role as Tech’s everyday first baseman.

Davies had just eight hits in 37 at-bats over the past two seasons, but this season he has 45 hits in 112 at-bats (26 starts). The McDonough, Ga. native is second on the team with a .402 batting average having made 23 starts at first base. The

Jackets are 20-3 in games which he has started on the corner. He is currently on an eight game hit streak, having reached base safely in 15 of the last 16 games.

STRIKING FIRST
The Jackets have been very tough to beat this season when they score a run in the first inning. Tech is 10-2 when scoring in the first frame, having outscored opponents 29-4.

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 six straight games on the mound. Tech’s Sunday starter improved to 6-1 after the Jackets’ 10-8 win over No. 1 Virginia last Sunday. In his toughest test this season (Farmer was hit for four unearned runs on 10 hits), the Conyers, Ga. native battled for seven innings, got the outs he need and maintained his velocity well into the 100-pitch mark.

ESCH DOUBLES HIS WORK LOAD
Shortstop Jacob Esch has made a habit of doubling up on things this season – an ACC leading 16 doubles (third most in the nation), 18 turned double plays and also pitching some in relief – but his biggest challenge has been doubling up on academics and baseball.

The third-year Civil Engineering major is taking 19 credit hours this semester, one more than the allowed amount for student athletes. Esch had to get special permission to take an extra credit hour.

The junior captain has made a huge turnaround at the plate this season, improving his average by 67 points to .335 from last year’s .268 clip.

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