Archive for May, 2011

Tech baseball rolling after series win over UNC

The outlook for Georgia Tech’s baseball team’s season improved Saturday night. It looked even better Sunday.

After a five-run rally in the ninth inning beat North Carolina Saturday, the Yellow Jackets took the series Sunday with a 3-0 win Sunday to take the series 2-1. Tech, ranked No. 13 by Baseball America, jumped from No. 9 to No. 8 in estimated RPI and bettered its chances of earning one of the eight national bids, which would keep the Jackets at home through the NCAA super regionals. More importantly, it gave a lift to a team that, aside from a non-conference series sweep last weekend, had been sliding.

“It’s a huge win for us momentum-wise, especially last night when we got the big win,” first baseman Jake Davies said. “Hopefully, that’ll carry over into the NCAA tournament and the ACC tournament.”

Prior to their three-game sweep of Illinois-Chicago and Tuesday win over Savannah State, Tech was 10-10 in its last 20 games, including series losses to Clemson and Virginia. …

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Tech heads into crucial baseball series

Greetings, all

A few baseball notes prior to the North Carolina-Georgia Tech series that begins Friday. Please note, if you plan on attending, that Friday’s game starts at 4 p.m. due to impending weather. (There’s a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms Friday night and a 40 percent chance Saturday, which could mean some scheduling logjams. Tech hosts the ACC softball tournament starting Friday and men’s and women’s first- and second-round NCAA tennis matches.)

1. The baseball team returns to ACC play with a home series against North Carolina. The Jackets will try again to make up ground on Coastal Division-leading Virginia. Tech is 18-6 in the ACC and Virginia, which plays Miami this weekend at home, is 20-4.

More importantly, though, Tech is trying to improve its chances for a national seed, which would enable the Jackets to host a regional and, should they advance, a super regional. Baseball America, which predicts two or possibly three ACC teams will receive one of the eight …

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Tech two-deep released

Greetings-

Sorry for the absence for a couple days. A couple of assignments took me away from filing stuff.

Anyway, the two-deep depth chart was released Thursday. A few observations below.

OFFENSE

QB    Tevin Washington  Synjyn Days

BB    Preston Lyons         Charles Perkins

AB    Orwin Smith           Embry Peeples

AB    Roddy Jones          B.J. Bostic

WR    Tyler Melton        Jon Lockhart or Jeremy Moore

WR    Stephen Hill         Daniel McKayhan

LT    Phil Smith               Catlin Alford

LG    Will Jackson          J.C. Lanier

C     Jay Finch                 Nick McRae

RG    Omoregie Uzzi     Trey Braun

RT    Tyler Kidney        Ray Beno

DEFENSE

DE    Jason Peters                      Anthony Williams or Euclid Cummings

DT    Logan Walls                       T.J. Barnes

DE    Izaan Cross …

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Kickoff times assigned for first two Tech games

Georgia Tech was assigned kickoff times for two games this season Wednesday by the ACC. The Sept. 1 season opener against Western Carolina will be 7:30 p.m. and broadcast on espn3.com. The Sept. 17 game against Kansas will start at 12:30 p.m. and will be televised in Atlanta on FSN South.

The Nov. 10 Thursday night game against Virginia Tech will kick off at 7:45 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

The remainder of the kickoff times and television assignments have yet to be determined. Middle Tennessee State will determine the start time for its game against Tech Sept. 10.

The ACC championship game will be televised on ESPN Dec. 3 at 8 p.m.

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Bilas: Tech has ‘got to get better players’

Greetings,

Hope you’re well. The day that Iman Shumpert decided to head for the NBA, I left a message with ESPN analyst Jay Bilas to get his thoughts on what Georgia Tech had returning. He replied a day or two later, and then I spoke a little with him Monday.

He doesn’t hold out much hope for the coming season for Tech – not exactly a bold prediction, but certainly a logical one – but likes the hire of Brian Gregory.

Some Bilas thoughts:

“They’ve got some good players, but it’s somewhat of a rebuilding challenge. They’ve got to get better players. … He didn’t inherit a ready-made team.”

“I don’t really see them being one of the upper-division teams.”

“This is a good time to build in the ACC. The entire slate of coaches, 11 of the 12 coaches don’t have the years in the league that Coach K has in the league combined.”

“I’m not one of those that believes there are system players. You either can play or you can’t. Good players can play in any system.”

“His teams have always been …

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Tech baseball, softball both win series

Greetings, all

Hope you all had a joyful Mother’s Day. I spent part of my Mother’s Day covering the Hawks’ Game 4 win over Chicago, which is why this will be on the shorter side. This has nothing to do with the game, but I was told by a colleague that Paul Hewitt and Bobby Cremins were both at the game and may have even struck up a conversation about playing each other next season. So there’s your Tech angle. Also, I saw Duane Ferrell, the former Tech star who now works for the Hawks as their player relations and programs manager.

Anyway, a short update on baseball and softball and I think that’ll be it.

1. The baseball team won its first two games against UIC Saturday and Sunday, 9-2 and 10-2. The Jackets finish up the series Monday and are now 33-14. Tech has hit .342 in the first two games, cranking out 27 hits. I’m not sure what this means, but 25 of the hits were singles and the other two were doubles. Coach Danny Hall reported that the wind was blowing in and that two …

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Gregory fills out staff; baseball, softball updates

Greetings-

Hope you’re well. A couple notes:

1. Brian Gregory filled out his coaching staff Thursday by hiring Billy Schmidt, who was with Gregory for eight years at Dayton. He was Gregory’s top assistant.

I get the feeling this has been in the works for awhile. Schmidt, 41, was reportedly in the running for an assistant job at Michigan State for Tom Izzo, for whom Gregory once worked. Gregory and Schmidt have a considerable history. Prior to Dayton, they worked together at Northwestern under Kevin O’Neill in the late ’90s.

Tech fans will probably like this. In a poll of Atlantic 10 coaches by foxsports.com writer Jeff Goodman last fall, Schmidt was named the conference’s top assistant. The uber-connected Goodman, in fact, told the Dayton Daily News that Schmidt was no less than “the most underrated coach in the country.” (Though I’m not sure how you can be acknowledged by your peers as the best assistant in your conference and also be the most underrated coach in the …

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Logan Walls dishes on his Tech education

Sports information director Dean Buchan notes that 68 Tech former and current athletes and student managers will earn their diplomas. Forthwith, a Q&A (mostly an A) with defensive tackle Logan Walls, a management major who was twice an All-ACC academic football team honoree. He had a 3.27 GPA going into this semester. He’ll be one of at least six post-graduates playing football in the fall.

Hardest class: Computer Science 1315. “It was the only one I could study really hard for and just not do as well as I wanted to.

Easiest class: Military Science. “It wasn’t too bad. It really all depends on the teacher. I got really lucky with that one, so that was probably my easiest one.”

Toughest assignment: “Probably most of the [computer science] stuff. If you miss a period or anything (in programming), then it’s wrong. That was probably the most aggravating.”

Favorite professors: Arn Rubinoff and Gary Jones, both in the management school. “I just really enjoyed their teaching style …

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Tech’s Gomez earns fourth NCAA singles bid

Men’s tennis player Guillermo Gomez was selected Wednesday to play in the NCAA men’s singles championship for the fourth time in his career. It’s the first time a Tech player has made four NCAA singles tournaments since 1971. Gomez’ best finish was 2010, when he reached the round of 16 before falling to eventual champion Bradley Klahn of Stanford.

Kevin King and Juan Spir will play in the doubles tournament, the first Tech doubles team to make it to the NCAA championship since 1995.

Gomez was named the ACC player of the year last week and is ranked. No. 15 nationally. King and Spir are the No. 15 double teams in the country. The tournaments will be played May 25-30 at Stanford.

From the women’s team, Jillian O’Neill received a bid into the singles draw. O’Neill was Tech’s only All-ACC selection and is ranked 32nd in the country. Viet Ha Ngo was named the fifth alternate for the singles field.

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Columbia coach weighs in on Gregory

Greetings-

Hope you’re well. I don’t know if you read the Brian Gregory story that ran this past Sunday, but it mentioned some stuff about Gregory’s efforts to get to know the coaches in metro Atlanta and the state.

To hear things from the other side, I talked to Phil McCrary, the longtime coach at Columbia High, a basketball powerhouse in DeKalb. (He sent Lance Storrs to Tech and Travis Leslie and Jeremy Price to Georgia, among many others.) I didn’t get to include much from him in the story, but thought you’d be interested in his thoughts.

McCrary said he liked Gregory, who told him that he planned to recruit Georgia, although he took that with a grain of salt. “That’s typical with all of them,” McCrary said.

McCrary, naturally, would like to see that happen, and thought that Paul Hewitt spent a lot of time recruiting out of state. It bears mention that Hewitt had plenty of Georgia kids on the roster, but McCrary’s opinion is hardly unique to him. (Hewitt’s final roster …

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