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Tech Baseball Begins Six-Game Road Swing at Miami

April 5, 2007

ATLANTA – The Yellow Jacket baseball team will begin its six-game road swing in Coral Gables, Fla. this weekend when they meet Miami (18-13, 5-7 ACC) in a three-game series beginning Friday at 7 p.m. at Mark Light Field. Tech and Miami will conclude the series with 1 p.m. games on Saturday and Sunday.

GAME COVERAGE: Friday & Sunday – CSS, Saturday – RSN (FSN South, Comcast SportsNet, SunSports, NESN); Entire series on WREK-Radio (91.1 FM/www.wrek.org); Live stats available at www.ramblinwreck.com.

Georgia Tech (20-11, 8-4 ACC) enters Miami riding a seven-game winning streak, which includes a series sweep of Maryland last weekend and an 11-8 victory over Wofford Tuesday evening. After beginning the season 9-9, the Yellow Jackets have won nine of their last 10 games, and 11 of their last 13. Miami has won three of its last four conference games, including two in Clemson last weekend.

Over the last 13 games, the Yellow Jackets have posted an 11-2 record as the Georgia Tech pitching staff has held opponents to just 3.2 runs per game and a .246 average.

Pitching Matchup (GT vs. UM)Friday:  LHP David Duncan (4-2, 3.54) vs. LHP Eric Erickson (4-3, 1.96)Saturday:  RHP John Goodman (1-1, 4.18) vs. LHP Scott Maine (2-5, 4.42)Sunday:  LHP Ryan Turner (3-3, 3.57) vs. RHP Enrique Garcia (2-2, 2.91)

The Yellow Jacket offense is led by outfielder Danny Payne (.409-2-22-13), shortstop Michael Fisher (.359-3-27-6), DH Wally Crancer (.355-4-23) and catcher Matt Wieters (.325-6-33-1). Georgia Tech, as a team, is hitting .294 on the year.

Miami leads Georgia Tech, 38-21-2

Miami leads Georgia Tech, 38-21-2, in a series that dates to 1958. The Yellow Jackets have played at least three games every year since 2002, including five times in 2006, with the Jackets winning four of the five meetings.

After dropping the 2006 regular season series opener to the Hurricanes, 8-7, Tech won the next two games, 14-5 and 12-7, to earn the series win and then downed Miami in a pair of ACC Tournament games, 2-1 and 7-4, to enter this weekend with a four-game winning streak over the `Canes.

The Jackets and Hurricanes have played to a combined 15-15 record on Tech’s home field and in neutral sites, but Miami holds the edge in Coral Gables, 23-6-2.

Georgia Tech is 11-15 against the Hurricanes under head coach Danny Hall, and 3-9 vs. Miami in Coral Gables since Hall replaced current Miami head coach Jim Morris as the Yellow Jacket skipper. Two of those three wins came in Tech’s last trip to the University of Miami, as the Jackets lost the first game, 20-1, but responded with a 17-7 victory in game number two before squeaking out an 11-10 victory in the finale.

In that final game, Matt Wieters hit a go-ahead two-run home run in the top of the ninth and then took the mound to record the save while helping the Jackets win their 11th-consecutive ACC series. Ironically, that victory was the Yellow Jackets’ 505th under head coach Danny Hall, which passed previous head coach Jim Morris’ record of 504 wins for the most victories by a Georgia Tech head baseball coach.

Head Coach Danny Hall Passes Career Win No. 800, Is One Victory Shy of 600 at Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall became the fifth active Atlantic Coast Conference head coach to reach 800 career victories when he did so in the opening game of the Duke series last weekend. He holds an 807-376 (.682) record in is 20-year coaching career.

Hall became the winningest head coach in Tech history in the series finale at Miami two years ago, with the victory ironically coming against the person he passed for the record, Hurricane head coach Jim Morris, who finished with 504 victories at Georgia Tech.

Hall is now just two wins shy of recording his 600th victory on the Flats, as the skipper is 599-259 (.698) in his 14 years at Georgia Tech.

Pitching Shines Over Last 13 Games

Despite a rough start to the season, the Yellow Jacket pitching staff has been the key component in the Yellow Jackets’ success of late, posting a 2.72 ERA while holding opponents to a .246 average through the last 13 games.

During the span, Tech is 8-0 when Yellow Jacket pitchers have held its opponent to less than three runs, but 3-2 in the two games when they’ve scored three or more.

Bats Warm With the Weather

After hitting just .281 through the first 25 games of the season (through March 25), the Yellow Jacket offense has exploded for a .346 average in the last six games.

Starting Pitching Bounces Back from Tough Start

With opponents hitting a solid .328 against Georgia Tech’s starting pitching in the month of February, Georgia Tech went 6-5 while the Yellow Jacket starters averaged a 6.08 ERA. To say there was an improvement in March would be an understatement, as the starting pitchers posted a 3.48 ERA while holding opponents to a .283 average.

Tech Starters Month-by-Month:Month   IP (Games)      H       R       ER      ERA     K       opp avgFebruary        47.1 (11)               63      40      32      6.08    30      .328March   106.0 (18)      117     48      41      3.48    80      .283April   9.0 (2)         9       4       3       3.00    8       .273

Perhaps most notable, however, is the starting pitching through the last 13 games, as the four Yellow Jacket starters (David Duncan, John Goodman, Ryan Turner, Eddie Burns) plus Jared Hyatt have combined for a 2.07 ERA while holding opponents to a .249 average during that span.

Tech Starters Over the Last 13 Games:Pitcher                 IP      H       R       ER      ERA     K       opp avgDavid Duncan (3 App) 24.1    24      6       5       1.85    24      .253John Goodman (3 App) 17.2    19      7       6       3.06    7       .279Ryan Turner (3 App)   17.2    18      7       4       2.04    14      .265Eddie Burns (3 App)   20.0    15      4       3       1.35    19      .205Jared Hyatt (1 Start) 3.0     2       1       1       1.00    2       .222

Relying on a Veteran Bullpen

Georgia Tech’s pitching staff was bolstered by strong efforts from the bullpen in 2006, and that group returned essentially in tact in 2007. In 2006, the relievers pitched 258 innings in 68 games, posting a 3.56 ERA and a 21-7 record with 18 saves. In the five NCAA Regional & Super Regional games, Tech’s bullpen posted a 0.00 ERA in 8.1 innings while recording two saves.

Bullpen Tale of the Tape in 2007Overall         W-L     SV      ERA     IP      ER      Opp avg.Georgia Tech    7-2     7       4.75    113.2   60      .270Opponents               6-5     6       6.28    133.1   93      .271

Starting Lineup is Anyone’s Guess

Through the first 31 games of the 2007 season, Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall has used 28 different lineup cards, with the only repeat coming against Rutgers in early March, vs. Kennesaw State in the middle of March, and against Maryland last weekend.

The only constant in every lineup has been that of preseason All-American Danny Payne, who has been Tech’s leadoff hitter and starting center fielder in every contest.

Upperclassmen Climbing Tech Career Records

A trio of Yellow Jacket juniors – Matt Wieters, Danny Payne and Brad Rulon – as well as fifth-year senior Jared Hyatt appear in the Georgia Tech career records and are steadily climbing the charts. The following is a list of where they stand:

Jared Hyatt: Games Pitched – 16th – 68 Danny Payne: Stolen Bases – 9th – 57 Brad Rulon: Games Pitched – 15th – 69 Matt Wieters: Saves – 7th – 16; Doubles – T-19th – 45 RBI – T-13th – 172

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