April 18, 2011
ATLANTA – The ninth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (27-10) will travel down I-75 for a midweek matchup against Mercer (24-15) on Tuesday in Macon, Ga. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Claude Smith Field.
Pitching Matchup (Georgia Tech vs. Mercer)
Tuesday: RHP Matthew Grimes (5-1, 3.65, 44.1 IP, 44 SO) vs. RHP Matt McCall (2-1, 4.29, 42.0 IP, 24 SO)
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.
Georgia Tech (27-10) 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),Baseball America (12) and National Collegiate Baseball Writer’sAssociation (16) polls. The Jackets are coming off a 3-1 week,having won a midweek game against arch-rival Georgia, beforewinning two of three at Wake Forest in ACC action over the weekend.Tuesday’s game will mark the 154th all-time meeting between the twoschools in a series dating back to 1897 … Mercer won the firstgame of the home and home with a 4-2 victory at Russ ChandlerStadium on March 29. Mercer (24-15) returns six position startersand 10 overall pitchers from a 2010 team that went 38-24, won theA-Sun Tournament title and reached the NCAA Atlanta Regional. TheBears are coming off an A-Sun series loss to North Florida over theweekend … The team is hitting .313 on the season, while thepitching staff currently holds a 3.60 ERA.
Georgia Tech holds a 104-49 leads in the all-time series … Tech is 42-26 in games played in Macon … The Jackets are 22-4 against the Bears since head coach Danny Hall’s arrival on the Flats in 1994.
Last Meeting: Evans Boyd’s two-out double in the eighth inning scored two of Mercer’s four unanswered runs to lead the Bears to a 4-2 upset win over No. 6 Georgia Tech on March 29 at Russ Chandler Stadium.
The loss ended a nation-leading 16-game win streak for Georgia Tech and a 17-game win streak for the Jackets over Mercer — dating back to 1998.
Georgia Tech currently leads the Atlantic Coast Conference inhitting (.321) while holding the second lowest ERA at 2.72 …Tech’s batting average is the eighth best in the nation, while theteam’s 92 doubles are the third and 426 hits are fourth. TheJackets are outscoring opponents 265-144 this season, and average11.5 hits and 7.2 runs per game. Freshman centerfielder Kyle Wren leads the ACC in batting average (.409), hits (65)and runs scored (43) … His 65 hits are the second most in thenation entering the week Tech’s three weekend pitchers – Mark Pope, Jed Bradley and Buck Farmer – have combined for a 17-4 record … Pope is tiedfor the ACC and national lead in wins with eight, and has thesecond lowest ERA in the conference (1.14). Georgia Tech has won 11of its last 12 weekend series, and seven of eight this season. TheJackets won 16 straight games from March 4 to March 29, theirlongest streak since the 2006 season. Seventeen of Georgia Tech’s34 players 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 12)… The Jackets are No. 7 in the latestPseudo-RPI (source: BoydsWorld.com). The Atlantic Coast Conferenceis well represented in the RPI, with five teams ranked among thetop 25 in the nation. Virginia, ranked No. 2 in the country in theRPI, leads all conference teams while North Carolina (3), GeorgiaTech (5), Florida State (9) and Clemson (13) all rank in the top25.
LEFTOVERS FROM THE WEEKEND
Georgia Tech won two of three on the road at Wake Forest over the weekend, improving to 14-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Jackets are currently in second place in the Coastal Division, two games behind division leader Virginia. Junior Mark Pope (8-1) won his eighth game of the season, tossing a complete-game one-hitter in Friday’s 5-1 win. Sophomore Luke Bard (2-2, 5 saves) earned a win after pitching a career-long five innings of relief on Sunday.
GRIMES LOOKS TO BUILD ON CAREER GAME
Freshman right-hander Matthew Grimes will look to build on his best outing this season when he takes the mound on Tuesday. The Hoschton, Ga. native fanned a career-high 10 batters in a 5-3 win over Georgia last Tuesday, April 12. Grimes scattered two runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings for his fifth win of the year. The innings pitched were also a career-high for the 2011 newcomer. He did not issue a single walk in the outing. Grimes is 5-1 with a 3.65 ERA in his first season on the Flats.
POPE EARNS ACC/NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS
Mark Pope was named the ACC Pitcher of the Week, and a Collegiate Baseball Newspaper National Player of the Week on Monday after tossing a complete-game one-hitter against Wake Forest over the weekend.
Pope, who was named ACC Pitcher of the Week for the third time and a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week for the second time this season, added eight strikeouts en route to his eighth win of the year.
POPE’S ONE-HITTER IS FIRST SINCE 1997
You’d to go back 14 years to find the last time a Georgia Tech pitcher fired a complete-game (nine innings) one-hitter against an opponent prior to Mark Pope’s entrapment of Wake Forest last Friday. Pope’s feat was the first since former Jacket Kris Wilson held Tennessee Tech to just one hit over nine innings in the 1997 NCAA Mideast Regional in Starkville, Miss. Former hurler Kevin Cameron pitched a one-hitter against Oakland in 2001, but the game lasted just seven innings.