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Reasons To Be Cheerful...

June 2, 2011

By Jon Cooper
Sting Daily

The Atlanta Regional begins today at Russ Chandler Stadium, featuring top seed Georgia Tech (40-19), then Southern Mississippi (39-17), Mississippi State (34-23) and Austin Peay (33-22) — Southern Miss. and Mississippi State kick things off at 3:00 p.m., with Tech and Austin Peay following with first pitch scheduled for 7:00. Play-by-play and live stats can be found all weekend long on RamblinWreck.com.

Sting Daily is doing its part to push Georgia Tech fans that might be on the fence about showing up to the games, in the right direction — that’s toward the ball park.

Here now are the top 10 reasons Georgia Tech fans should be at Russ Chandler Stadium this weekend.

10. It’s an important enough event that Atlanta Braves General Manager Frank Wren likely is going to be in attendance for all or part of the weekend. Of course, his sons Kyle and Colby play on the team and the Braves are in New York, but let’s not nitpick.

9. It’s a perfect opportunity to break out your “I hate Brett Favre/Will Clark/Sorry, I can’t think of anyone famous from Austin Peay” Tee-shirt.

8. The Yellow Jackets won 75 percent of their games at Russ Chandler Stadium during the 2011 season (24-8), while Peay (13-12), MSU (10-9) and So. Miss. (12-8) were barely over .500 on the road (35-29, 54.7 percent). So there’s a good chance Tech will win. Those odds increase with your support.

7. Russ Chandler Stadium needs more Jackets fans, not more cowbell.

6. Georgia Tech Head Coach Danny Hall plans to extend his school-record for wins — he’s currently at 777 — and wishes you’d attend.

“The Thrashers, are they gone? So there’s no hockey. Last time I checked, the Hawks aren’t in the NBA Finals. I think the Braves are headed to New York. So our people really don’t have an excuse of at least a pro outlet that they might be going to. So I hope they rally around the Jackets.”

You don’t want to disappoint Coach Hall, do you? Trust me, you don’t.

5. Tech shortstop Jacob Esch took 19 credit hours, made the Dean’s List, while getting 79 hits (third in the ACC) yet never missed a game. Now, why can’t you make it, again?

4. Let’s remind Southern Miss. how long Georgia Tech fans’ memories are and help the Jackets avenge 2009.

3. It’s another opportunity to see centerfielder Kyle Wren, the ACC leader in hits (88), hits per game (1.49), triples (7), and the third-best average (.352), Daniel Palka, among ACC home run leaders (10), Zane Evans, Mott Hyde and the other members of the youngest team in the nation (17 freshmen) continue to grow up before your eyes.

2. Watch Georgia Tech’s vaunted pitching staff of Mark Pope, a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist (have you voted for him yet today at GoldenSpikesAward.com?) and a Louisville Slugger Second-Team All-America, Jed Bradley and Buck Farmer battle the SEC’s leading hitter Jarrod Parks (.383), the Ohio Valley Conference’s home run and RBI leader, John Hogan (13, 62) and one of C-USA’s top hitters Tyler Koelling (84 hits, .367 average) and sluggers B.A. Vollmuth (.570, 12 homers), the hero of the 2009 regional.

1. It’s the NCAA Tournament…He-LLO!!??!!

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