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Tech Hosts South Carolina, East Carolina and Stetson in NCAA Atlanta Regional

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Download FreeAcrobat Reader Coach and Player Quotes — May 29, 2003

After its dramatic run to the Atlantic Coast Conference title, the Georgia Tech baseball team earned the No. 3 national seed in the NCAA Championships, and the Yellow Jackets (44-16) will face Stetson in the first round of the NCAA Atlanta Regional, which Tech hosts Friday through Sunday at Russ Chandler Stadium.

Joining No. 1 seed Georgia Tech and No. 4 seed Stetson (39-22) are No. 2 seed South Carolina (39-20) and No. 3 seed East Carolina (31-23-1).

As the host, Georgia Tech will face Stetson Friday at 7 p.m. South Carolina and East Carolina will meet earlier that day at 3 p.m. Game times for Saturday are 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday’s championship game is slated for 1 p.m., with a second game to follow, if necessary, 45 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.

There is no live television for the NCAA Atlanta Regional. Radio coverage of Georgia Tech’s games is available on WREK 91.1 FM and WQXI 790 AM (Friday and Sunday games only). Live statistics and audio are also available on the Internet at www.ramblinwreck.com.

“We have some great matchups in our regional,” said Tech head coach Danny Hall, whose squad earned the right to host a regional for the third time in the last four years. “South Carolina played for the national championship last year, Stetson has been in our regional before, and East Carolina has been a great ballclub the last few years.

“Once you get to this point in the season, everybody is good and everybody has won a lot of games to get themselves into the tournament. It just comes down to the fact that you’ve got to play well to survive. This time of year you’ve got to be able to beat good teams, and we’re certainly going to have to beat good teams in our regional to get to the next round.”

Tech’s No. 3 national seed equals the Jackets’ highest since the current format was adopted in 1999. The Jackets were also the No. 3 seed in 2000.

“I felt like we played our way into that No. 3 national seed by winning the ACC championship,” said Hall. “There are some very good teams that didn’t get those national seeds, so I feel very proud for our team that they earned that seed.”

The Yellow Jackets enter the NCAA Regional on the heels of one of the most dramatic days in the history of the program. Faced with having to play three games in one day, Tech defeated North Carolina, 10-6, Florida State, 10-7, and then NC State, 6-5, Sunday to win its sixth ACC championship. Tech rallied from a five-run deficit against UNC and then scored six runs in the ninth inning to defeat the No.1-ranked Seminoles before claiming the title on Eric Patterson’s 10th-inning single against the Wolfpack.

“Our team really came together and played hard and battled,” said Hall. “There’s no way that you could win three games in one day without that. I certainly think it can give us a lot of confidence that we can stand toe-to-toe and play with anybody.”

The Tech pitching rotation is led by 6-9 junior lefthander Kyle Bakker, who owns an 8-2 record and a 4.05 earned run average, freshman righthander Micah Owings, the ACC Rookie of the Year who sports a 9-2 record and a 3.86 ERA, and senior righty Chris Goodman, 8-3 record, 3.84 ERA, while junior Brian Burks, the MVP of the ACC Tournament, is the top arm in the bullpen with a 5-1 record, eight saves and a 3.36 ERA.

Tech’s top hitters are junior leftfielder Matt Murton with a .307 average, 13 home runs and a team-leading 55 runs batted in, sophomore catcher Mike Nickeas, who leads the team with a .336 average and has seven homers and 44 RBI, and Owings, whose 14 home runs lead Tech.

Georgia Tech is making its 20th NCAA appearance, including its 18th trip in the last 19 years, and the Jackets have a record of 43-38 in NCAA play. Tech reached the College World Series last year and in 1994.

The top eight national seeds, in order, are: Florida State, LSU, Georgia Tech, Auburn, Rice, Stanford, Cal State Fullerton and Miami. Those eight are all hosting regionals, along with Arizona State, Long Beach State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, NC State (in Wilson, N.C.), Rice, Stanford, Texas and Texas A&M. Southern Mississippi is the only host that is not a No. 1 seed; Baylor is the top seed at that site.

The winner of the NCAA Atlanta Regional advances to face the winner of the NCAA Starkville Regional, hosted by Mississippi State in the NCAA Super Regionals, which scheduled for June 6-9 on campus sites.

Tickets for the NCAA Atlanta Regional are on sale now at www.ramblinwreck.com. Tournament books, including tickets for all seven sessions, are priced at $84 for a reserved chairback seat and $70 for a reserved bench seat between first and third base. Single-game tickets are priced at $12 for a a reserved chairback seat, $10 for a reserved bench seat between first and third base, $7 for a general admission bleacher seat, and $5 for a general admission student ticket.

NCAA ATLANTA REGIONAL
May 30 – June 1, Russ Chandler Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.
Hosted by Georgia Tech

TEAMS:
No. 1 seed Georgia Tech (44-16 overall, 17-7 ACC; ACC Champions)
No. 2 seed South Carolina (39-20, 19-11 SEC; 1st SEC East/2nd overall)
No. 3 seed East Carolina (31-23-1, 17-13 C-USA; 5th)
No. 4 seed Stetson (39-22, 21-12 A-Sun; 2nd)

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:
Friday, May 30
Game 2, No. 2 seed South Carolina vs. No. 3 seed East Carolina, 3 p.m.
Game 1, No. 1 seed Georgia Tech vs. No. 4 seed Stetson, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 31
Game 3, Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11 a.m.
Game 4, Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game, 3 p.m.
Game 5, Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 7 p.m.

Sunday, June 1
Game 6, Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 (first possible championship game), 1 p.m.
Game 7, Same teams, if necessary, 45 minutes after Game 6

TICKETS:
Available on-line at www.ramblinwreck.com, at the Georgia Tech Ticket Office (1.888.TECH.TIX) or at the gate.

Tournament Books, Reserved Chairback Seat, $84
Tournament Books, Reserved Bench Seat, $70
Single Game, Reserved Chairback Seat, $12
Single Game, Reserved Bench Seat, $10
Single Game, General Admisssion, $7
Single Game, Student General Admission, $5

Tickets ordered on-line or by phone will be available at the Russ Chander Stadium Will Call (Gate 3, Third Base Side) beginning 90 minutes prior to the first game each day.

PLEASE NOTE:
Tournament books ONLY are on sale through Thursday. Single-game tickets for Friday’s games will be available on-line, beginning Thursday evening, or at the gate beginning Friday at 1:30 p.m. Single-game tickets for Saturday’s sessions will go on sale following Friday’s games. Internet sales will end at 10 a.m. Friday morning.

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RECOMMENDED PARKING:
Parking for the NCAA Atlanta Regional is free of charge and is available in the following areas:
Alexander Memorial Coliseum (8th Street off Fowler Street)
O’Keefe Parking Lot (6th Street off Fowler Street)
Peter’s Parking Deck (Fowler Street at 4th Street)
A09 Lot (4th Street)

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