Archive for June, 2012

Matt Kuchar a favorite at U.S. Open

Georgia Tech grad Matt Kuchar, ranked sixth in the world, is a popular choice to win the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. He would become the fifth Georgia Tech grad to win a major, following Bobby Jones, Larry Mize, David Duval and Stewart Cink.

Kuchar, who tied for 14th as an amateur at the U.S. Open in 1998, also at Olympic, leads the PGA Tour with five top-10 finishes this season.

“It’s nice that people are thinking I’ve got a good chance here,” Kuchar told the San Jose Mercury News. “But it’s the game of golf. You never know what’s going to happen — particularly U.S. Open golf. If you’re not on all cylinders, it’s pretty easy to shoot a big number out there.”

Kuchar’s game could suit the tight fairways and the typically penalizing U.S. Open set-up. He is 10th in greens in regulation and 25th in driving accuracy.

“So I definitely like my chances,” he said in an article on pgatour.com. “I think a U.S. Open is a good fit for me.”

Two other former Jackets …

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Georgia Tech: 3 things you didn’t know about Al Groh

Greetings-

I’m off through Wednesday, but wanted to offer up something for the blog. I spoke with Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh, who covered a wide variety of topics about his background and the defense. It’ll hopefully run in the paper and online as “10 things you didn’t know about Al Groh.” I’ll give you a sneak peak with three of them. Thanks for reading.

1. Groh calls a failed statistics class in his senior year at Virginia in 1967 the biggest break of his career. He had been accepted to graduate business school, but instead had to stay to re-take the class the following semester. He got a work-study job coaching football at a local high school, where the team went 10-0 and Groh enjoyed himself thoroughly.

In a roundabout way, that led to an ROTC assignment in 1968 to coach the plebe (freshman) football team at West Point. His first night there, he was taken to the officers’ club, where he met Anne Stahle, whom he later married. The next day, he met another …

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Davies, Wren drafted on third day

On the third day of the Major League Baseball draft, Georgia Tech first baseman Jake Davies was selected in the 21st round by the Boston Red Sox. He was selected as a first baseman and not as a pitcher.

In the 30th round, center fielder Kyle Wren was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. Wren is the son of Braves general manager Frank Wren.

Third baseman Sam Dove went undrafted. It’s the 12th consecutive year that at least four Tech players have been chosen in the draft.
Besides Davies and Wren, pitcher Luke Bard was chosen in the supplemental first round by the Minnesota Twins, outfielder Brandon Thomas was chosen in the fourth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates and pitcher Buck Farmer was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 15th round.

Davies led the ACC with 73 RBI, hit .326 and hit five home runs in the ACC and NCAA tournaments. Wren hit .256 with 10 doubles and was second on the team in runs with 56.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Georgia Tech hires new strength coach

Georgia Tech named John Sisk its new director of player development Tuesday. Sisk, who was hired from Furman, will oversee strength and conditioning for all of Tech’s athletes and will work directly with the football team.

Sisk replaces Neal Peduzzi, who left Tech to train special forces (Green Berets) in the Army. Peduzzi had been at Tech eight years, the last two as player development director.

“This position is very important to our overall success and I have confidence that John will do a great job,” coach Paul Johnson said in a statement.

Sisk served one year at Furman after working 2001-2010 at Vanderbilt.

Peduzzi said the opportunity to work with the 7th Special Forces Group, based out of Eglin Air Force Base in northwest Florida, was hard to pass up.

“That was really it, just the opportunity to do something different, try something new and working with this population was something that really intrigued me,” Peduzzi said.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Update: Tech’s Bard taken No. 42, Thomas No. 136, Farmer No. 485

UPDATE, 7:15 a.m.: The Milwaukee Brewers drafted pitcher Buck Farmer in the 15th round, the No. 485 pick. Farmer was a two-time All-ACC pick and this season was third in the conference in innings pitched (106 2/3) and strikeouts (115, 9.7 per nine innings). Farmer, from Rockdale High, went considerably lower than some projections. Baseball America magazine rated him as the No. 117 prospect in the draft.

It’s conceivable that new rules regarding signing bonuses pushed Farmer down teams’ draft boards. (Baseball America details it here.)

The draft concludes Wednesday with rounds 16-40.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: The Pittsburgh Pirates selected outfielder Brandon Thomas in the fourth round, making him the 136th pick overall. Thomas is the second Tech player selected. He was the 29th outfielder chosen. Thomas, a Pace Academy grad who last week was named an academic All-America, is a switch-hitter with speed. He led the team in batting average (.360) and on-base percentage (.481) and was …

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Live blog, Georgia Tech-Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Georgia Tech will attempt to extend its season once again, this time in a rematch with No. 1 seed Florida at McKethan Stadium.

Some concerns for Tech:

1. How much does Jake Davies have in the tank? He’ll take the mound for the Jackets and will be sure to have just about the entire McKethan Stadium crowd on his back from the first pitch.

2. Can the Jackets get some runners on and some timely hits? Tech only put one leadoff runner on Saturday night and left 10 runners on base.

3. How much will the team in general have? It’s the Jackets’ third game in 24 hours, and they got about a 90 minutes back at the team hotel before returning to the stadium. Certainly, they’re college kids and they should be able to play two games in a day, but the problem is the team they’re playing isn’t doing the same thing.

“You stand out there in the sun for three hours, it has to take something out of ‘em,” Tech coach Danny Hall said.

4. Who has the emotional edge? The game last …

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Georgia Tech win sets up re-match with Florida

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Georgia Tech took care of business Sunday afternoon, eliminating College of Charleston in a 3-0 victory to set up a re-match with Florida at 6 p.m.

Designated hitter Zane Evans broke a scoreless tie with two out in the top of the sixth when he lifted a fly to left center that Cougars center fielder Marty Gantt lost track of. The ball fell safely, scoring Brandon Thomas from second.

Connor Lynch added two insurance runs in the top of the ninth with his first home run of the season for a 3-0 lead.

Alex Cruz, in his first start of the season, gave the Jackets six scoreless innings, allowing only two hits and not letting a base runner past second base. He gave way to Evans, who finished the shutout by retiring nine of the 10 batters he faced. Evans has not allowed a run in the past 7 1/3 innings.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

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Live blog: Georgia Tech-College of Charleston (ESPN2)

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For better or worse, Georgia Tech is in familiar position. The Jackets are again in a must-win position, just like the final day of the regular season when they were in a potentially do-or-die scenario to get into the ACC tournament, then in three consecutive pool-play games first to enhance their NCAA tournament resume and then to get into the title game, followed by the actual title-game.

As you likely well know, Tech won all five of those games, followed by the Friday win over College of Charleston in its NCAA regional opener.

To get out of the NCAA Gainesville regional, Tech has a bear of a climb – beat College of Charleston at noon, beat Florida at 6 p.m. and beat the Gators again Monday at 7 p.m.

“There’s no pressure,” catcher Zane Evans said. “Just go out there and have fun, do what we’ve been doing the whole season, battle and give it our all.”

Alex Cruz will start for Tech. Cruz has turned into one of the most valuable players on …

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Cruz to start for Georgia Tech against College of Charleston

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall will take another calculated risk Sunday by starting Alex Cruz against College of Charleston in the Yellow Jackets’ noon elimination game.

After the Jackets’ 6-2 loss to Florida Saturday night, pitching coach Tom Kinkelaar said that Tech’s options were probably either Jake Davies or Josh Heddinger, both of whom had started for the Jackets in the ACC tournament. The choice to go with Cruz, who has been Tech’s top reliever this season, seems to reflect Hall’s mindset that the Jackets will need to save Davies and Heddinger to beat Florida in back-to-back games. The risk, though, is that they’ll send out Cruz, who has not started a game this year, to win a game that Tech needs to win just to get to the Gators.

Cruz began the season as a position player before his performance out of the bullpen and injuries to the pitching staff led coaches to switch him full-time to the pitching staff. His longest outing this season …

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Georgia Tech-Florida live blog

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Having won Friday, Georgia Tech has a little margin in this double-elimination tournament, but not really. Here’s why:

If Georgia Tech loses to Florida tonight, the Jackets will need to beat the Gators twice after first having beaten College of Charleston Saturday afternoon in what will presumably warm conditions.

Then they’ll have to beat Brian Johnson, who is merely ranked the No. 39 draft prospect by Baseball America. The problem with that is, Danny Hall will have to either use Josh Heddinger or Jake Davies to beat the Cougars in the elimination game. (which is another matter: If Tech loses, who would be the wiser choice – Heddinger or Davies? Davies is probably the better pitcher, and thus might be better saved for Florida, but Tech can’t play Florida if it can’t beat College of Charleston)

And then, even if Tech beats Florida Sunday night, the Jackets will be out of starters.

So, again, Tech needs this one tonight pretty badly. Enjoy the …

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