Archive for May, 2012

Tech to pitch Pitts on Friday, hold back Farmer

Georgia Tech pitcher Cole Pitts will get the start Friday in the Jackets’ opening NCAA tournament game against College of Charleston in Gainesville, Fla. Coach Danny Hall will hold back staff ace Buck Farmer on the reasoning that Tech will almost certainly have to beat Florida, the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed, to get out of the four-team, double-elimination regional, and he wanted to save Farmer for the Gators.

“If things work out the way I think they might work out, I think that we’re going to need Buck to beat Florida,” Hall said.

Either decision is a calculated risk. Starting Farmer, a two-time All-ACC pick who has a 9-3 record with a 3.43 ERA, against College of Charleston gives the Jackets a better chance of winning that game and moving into the winner’s bracket, but then gives Tech a lesser chance against Florida. Starting Pitts against College of Charleston increases the risk of losing and falling into the loser’s bracket. Hall said the coaching staff …

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End comes for Tech’s decorated doubles team

Kevin King and Juan Spir’s career as Georgia Tech doubles partners came to an end last Friday. The team fell in the round of 16 at the NCAA tournament in Athens to Marcel and Chris Thiemann from Mississippi, twin brothers from Germany.

After match point, King and Spir, doubles partners for the last three years, shared a high five, a hug and a few words.

“I told him, ‘It was good,’” Spir said. “‘It was a good run.’”

Tech may not see a doubles team like King and Spir for a while. Coach Kenny Thorne paired them two years ago, when King was a sophomore and Spir a freshman. They went 71-26, including 22-5 this year. They were NCAA semifinalists a year ago, beating the top seed along the way, to earn All-America status. They won the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional in October and reached the round of 16 of the ITA national indoor championships in November. This spring, they were named All-ACC for the second year in a row.

“I’ve said it before,” Thorne said Friday. …

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Georgia Tech takes ACC baseball title

It wasn’t quite worst to first, but you could call it eight to great.

In a season in which it was frittered with injuries and a berth in the eight-team ACC baseball tournament was anything but a given, the Georgia Tech baseball team capped an unlikely run to its eighth ACC championship with an 8-5 defeat of Miami Sunday afternoon in Greensboro, N.C. They became the first No. 8 seed to win the tournament.

The Jackets, who earned the eighth and lowest seed in the tournament with a win over the same Hurricanes on the final day of the regular season, continued their pummeling of ACC pitching. Tech cranked out 15 hits, including base hits from five of the first six hitters to go to the plate in the first inning (the sixth was a walk). The Jackets took a 4-0 lead in the first half of the inning and led the entire way.

Josh Heddinger, Jarrett Didtrick and Zane Evans held off the Hurricanes, limiting them to five hits, all singles. Evans also went 2-for-6 with 3 RBI. Tech hit .331 …

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Tech to face Miami for ACC baseball title

The Georgia Tech baseball team has one more hill to climb Sunday on an improbable ascent. The Yellow Jackets will play Miami for the ACC championship in Greensboro, N.C., eight days after their spot in the eight-team tournament was secured on the final day of the regular season.

The game will start at noon and will be carried on ESPN2.

The No. 8 seed, Tech upset top-seeded Florida State (the top-ranked team in the country) on Wednesday, beat No. 17 Virginia on Friday and then Clemson on Saturday behind six innings from Jake Davies, who limited the Tigers to two hits in the fourth pitching start of his career.

A team that entered the tournament on the NCAA tournament bubble, Tech can secure its ticket automatically by winning its first ACC title since 2005. The Jackets (35-24) are just the third No. 8 seed to reach the final.

“We didn’t have anything to lose,” Davies said. “Nobody expected us to do anything. We upset the No. 1 seed and then things just kind of fell into …

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Tech into ACC baseball finals

The Georgia Tech baseball team is in the ACC championship game for the first time since 2005 after a 5-1 defeat of Clemson in the Jackets’ final pool-play game Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. Entering the tournament as the No. 8 (lowest seed) with a 12-18 league record, the Jackets won all three of their pool-play games, riding the superior play of first baseman/pitcher Jake Davies.

Saturday, Davies hit a two-run home run in the first inning – his fourth in three tournament games – that gave Tech a 2-0 lead that it did not relinquish. Davies also gave the Jackets six innings, holding the Tigers to one run, before Alex Cruz finished with three scoreless innings to seal the win.

Tech will play the Pool B winner at noon in Greensboro, N.C., for the league championship, which would be the Jackets’ eighth overall and coach Danny Hall’s fourth. Freshman Josh Heddinger is expected to pitch for the Jackets.

Tech’s opponent has yet to be determined. North Carolina’s 7 p.m. …

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Live blog: Georgia Tech-Clemson


Just wanted to give you a space to comment on the game, scheduled for 11 a.m. (ESPN3 and regional sports networks, Fox Sports South in Atlanta) Jake Davies (0-3, 6.17 ERA) will pitch for Georgia Tech. The Clemson win Friday night, I’m guessing, changes things a lot for Tech. Conceivably, Danny Hall could have rested Davies Saturday, since the game would have been inconsequential, and saved him for the championship game. Instead, he’ll pitch Saturday and we’ll see what happens if Tech wins today. The likely choice would be Josh Heddinger (3-4, 5.09 ERA), a freshman perhaps notable for two strong starts against Georgia.

Clemson will pitch Kevin Pohle (6-3, 3.25 ERA, .268 opponent batting average). Tech faced him in the third game of the regular-season series and got into him, chasing him after 3 2/3 innings with three earned runs and six hits. Clemson won the game 11-8. Daniel Gossett got the win in relief for the Tigers.

I don’t think I’ll be able to be on …

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Georgia Tech drills Virginia at ACC baseball tournament

UPDATE: Georgia Tech will need to beat Clemson Saturday at 11 a.m. (ESPN3, regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South in Atlanta) after the Tigers beat Florida State 9-7 on a three-run walk-off home run. Jon McGibbon’s blast completed a three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth. Prior to Friday, the Tigers were 0-21 when trailing going into the ninth inning while the Seminoles were 38-0 when leading going into the ninth.

Georgia Tech pounded a 17-5 lump into Virginia at the ACC baseball tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Friday afternoon. Jake Davies’ three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh ended the game by the 10-run mercy rule. As a result of the Clemson win, Tech can win the four-team pool by beating the Tigers Saturday. A Clemson win would eliminate the Jackets; the winner would either be Clemson or Virginia, pending its Saturday game against Florida State.

Tech’s last appearance in the championship game was 2005, when the Jackets beat Virginia for their …

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Tech baseball can gain ACC final Friday

The Georgia Tech baseball team can clinch a spot in the ACC championship final and play for its first ACC title since 2005 with a win and Clemson loss Friday.

As a result of upsetting top-seeded Florida State Wednesday, a 5-4 win fueled by a pair of two-run home runs by Jake Davies, the eighth-seeded Jackets can gain the final by beating Virginia Friday at 11 a.m. and then having Florida State beat Clemson in the 3 p.m. game.

Tech will start freshman Cole Pitts, who has a 4.41 ERA but delivered in the most important game of the regular season. With the Jackets needing either a win or a Virginia Tech loss on the final day of the season, Pitts held No. 21 Miami to one run and two hits in seven innings to give the Jackets room for a 2-1 win last Saturday. That win clinched Tech’s spot in the eight-team ACC tournament. Without a league tournament berth, the Jackets’ chances of making the NCAA tournament would have been narrow at best.

However, with the win over Florida State …

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More from Johnson, Gregory, Joseph


As advertised, some notes from Paul Johnson (and Brian Gregory and MaChelle Joseph) from the Georgia Tech Caravan Tuesday night.

Each coach gave a lengthy overview of his or her team’s past season and what lies ahead. If you read the blog fairly regularly, you’ve heard most of what Johnson said. A few things that I don’t think I’ve heard or found interesting:

1. For summer 7-on-7 passing sessions, Tech players have organized games with players from Georgia State (knew that) and even as far as Furman (didn’t know that).

2. The team had nine scholarship seniors last year and will have 10 this year, but the classes are more balanced in terms of position and class than when Johnson arrived.

“Coach (Chan) Gailey had left some outstanding student-athletes here when he left, but the numbers were kind of skewed,” he said.

3. Incoming freshman quarterback Justin Thomas won the 100-meter dash in the Class 4A-6A state championship in Alabama. His time was 10.79 …

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Radakovich on playoffs, scheduling, realignment


Hopefully you read the story that was posted after the Georgia Tech Caravan event Tuesday night at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center. Pretty good information that came out of it. I’ll post some more notes from what Dan Radakovich had to say, including some stuff he told Kelly Quinlan of Rivals and me afterwards, and then get to Paul Johnson, Brian Gregory and MaChelle Joseph Thursday.

1. He said it has been a “good, not great” year for Tech athletics. He said that after the superior 2009-10 year, it’s hard to repeat that level of success. He noted the growth of a number of programs, men’s basketball in particular.

“Certainly, women’s basketball, they were part of the solution, but when you look at the totality – two ACC championships, women’s basketball going to the Sweet 16, I think all in all, it was a good year,” he said.

2. Radakovich took part in the BCS meetings in April. He said that each answer to each question only presented …

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