March 5, 2009
ATLANTA – The ninth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team opens Atlantic Coast Conference play this weekend when Maryland comes to town for a three-game weekend series. The Yellow Jackets (6-1, 0-0 ACC) and Terrapins (4-4, 0-0 ACC) begin the series Friday at 4 p.m., followed by a 2 p.m. first pitch Saturday. The two teams wrap up the series Sunday at 1 p.m.
Georgia Tech was a consensus preseason top-25 team that moved into the top-10 after a three-game sweep of Lipscomb on opening weekend. The Yellow Jackets have been ranked as high as No. 8 this season (by the NCBWA on Feb. 23) and currently appear among the top-15 in the Collegiate Baseball (9), NCBWA (10), USA Today (11) and Rivals.com (11) polls. Baseball America has the Jackets ranked No. 18 in their latest college baseball poll.
Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Maryland)
Friday: RHP Deck McGuire (2-0, 0.60) vs. RHP Scott Swinson (1-1, 1.69)
Saturday: RHP Zach Von Tersch (2-0, 5.73) vs. RHP Ian Schwalenberg (0-1, 4.50)
Sunday: RHP Brandon Cumpton (0-0, 1.50) vs. LHP Matt Fullerton (2-0, 0.96)
Senior RF Luke Murton (.500-0-5-2) is pacing the Yellow Jacket offense early in the season, and freshman 3B Matt Skole (.333-3-9-0) has been a pleasant surprise, leading the team in HR and RBI. Sophomore CF Jeff Rowland (.414-1-5-5) has also picked up where he left off last season, while senior C Jason Haniger (.421-1-5-0) and junior 1B Tony Plagman (.310-2-8-2) have been hot of late.
Game Coverage: The entire series can be heard on WREK Radio (91.1 FM in Atlanta/www.wrek.org), and live stats for all Georgia Tech baseball games can be found at Ramblinwreck.com.
Game Promotions: The first 200 fans through the gates on Friday will receive a free Georgia Tech beanie, courtesy of The Rock. Additional items will be given away throughout each and every game this season – a complete list of all giveaways is available in the 2009 Georgia Tech baseball scorecard, which is available for just $1 when entering the ballpark.
Tech vs. Maryland (Tech leads, 63-23)
The Yellow Jackets and Terrapins will be meeting for the 87th time in history this Friday, with Georgia Tech holding a commanding 63-23 lead in the series. The two teams first met in 1921 and have played each other every season since head coach Danny Hall’s arrival. The Jackets are 38-8 against the Terps under Hall.
Tech has fared better against Maryland at home than on the road, posting a sterling 37-6 record on the Jackets’ home field, including winning 20 of the last 21 games played at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The Jackets won the last game between the two teams – a 9-6, five-inning win in College Park last season which helped Tech avoid a sweep by the Terrapins after they stopped the Jackets, 7-5, and 14-13, in the first two games.
Streaking in the ACC
Georgia Tech swept two Atlantic Coast Conference series during the 2008 regular season, and the Yellow Jackets have swept 62 weekend series since the conference adopted the current three-game round-robin format in 1987.
Since 1987, Tech has won 116 of 175 (.663) ACC series, including 32 of its last 48 (.667) weekend series. The Jackets took five weekend series a year ago, and open the season with Maryland in 2009.
Jackets in ACC Openers
Georgia Tech is 20-9 in ACC openers and has started conference play at home on all but four occasions since joining the league in 1980. The Yellow Jackets have won three of their last four league openers, and 11 of 15 under head coach Danny Hall.
How the Yellow Jackets fare in the ACC opener typically indicates how they will finish their first ACC series. When Tech has won its ACC opener, the Yellow Jackets have gone on to win the three-game series every year since 1992. The same is true for when the Jackets have lost their ACC opener. Tech has swept the first ACC series of the season nine times under Hall.
The Jackets have begun ACC play against the Terrapins twice since Hall’s arrival in 1994, and on both occasions they have not only won the opener, but they have swept the series.