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Georgia Tech Baseball: Previewing Duke

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After winning seven of their last eight, Georgia Tech prepares to take on the Blue Devils.

Sophomore catcher
Sophomore catcher

After walloping Georgia Southern 22-6 Tuesday night, the Yellow Jackets (12-4, 2-1 ACC) come back this afternoon to take on Duke. The Blue Devils (13-3, 1-2 ACC) faced No. 12 UNC in their first conference match-up of the season and are undefeated at home in 10 games there.

The Blue Devils got to that point through good pitching and solid run production and not with power. Duke has only hit one home run this season. For comparison, Tech has had six players hit home runs this season, with four of those hitting multiple home runs.

In producing their runs, Duke has four players with 10 RBI: sophomore catcher Chris Perez (17), freshman infielder Justin Bellinger (12, including his home run), redshirt senior catcher Mike Rosenfeld (11) and junior infielder Kenny Koplove.

Rosenfeld also leads the Blue Devils with a .347 batting average, .448 on-base percentage and .449 slugging percentage.

Another key cog in the Blue Devils offense has been senior infielder Andy Perez (no relation to Chris which I'm aware of). A. Perez is a base-stealing machine for Duke. He's already got 15 stolen bases this year in Duke's 16 games. With that and getting on base nearly 40 percent of the time, it will be key to keep him off the basepaths as often as possible, though it's nothing Arden Pabst can't handle.

Game 1: Friday, March 13 @ 3 p.m.

This game was originally scheduled for 6 p.m. but was pushed back due to the impending weather.

Game 1 will see junior lefty Jonathan King go to the mound for the Yellow Jackets. He's been a good starter for us, going 2-0 in his four starts.  He has pitched 23.0 innings and has a 3.13 ERA with a .167 opponent's batting average.

Duke will be sending junior right-hander Michael Matuella. In his three starts for the Blue Devils, Matuella, depending on where you look, is either 1-0 or has yet to receive a decision. He has not allowed a run in seven hits in his 10.0 innings.

Game 2: Saturday, March 14 @ 1 p.m.

On this Pi Day match-up, the Yellow Jackets will be sending senior righty Cole Pitts to the mound. Since returning from Tommy John surgery, Pitts has been a mainstay in the weekend rotation, in spite of not yet receiving a decision. He has pitched to a 2.16 ERA and has struck out seven batters and walked three.

The Blue Devils will counter with senior right-hander Andrew Istler. In his four starts with Duke this season, he is 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and has struck out 20 batters and walked three.

Game 3: Sunday, March 15 @ 1 p.m.

Game 3 will provide the most exhilarating match-up (on paper at least).

The Jackets will be sending sophomore right-hander Brandon Gold. In his four total appearances, Gold has been absolute gold (had to do it) for us this season. He has pitched to a 2-0 record with a 0.81 ERA in 22.1 innings. Gold has also struck out 18 batters and walked three, while holding them to a .178 opposing batting average.

Going to the mound for the Blue Devils will be sophomore righty Baily Clark. Clark has been phenomenal this season, pitching to a 2-0 record with a 1.29 ERA. He's also struck out a team-high 28 batters and walked five, while holding opposing batters to a .173 batting average.

How does Tech do against Duke this weekend?