Tony Plagman: The ACC Is a Great League

Georgia Tech first baseman Tony Plagman passed up a chance to sign with the New York Yankees to return to the Jackets for his senior season. Plagman will be counted on to be one of the leaders both on and off the field in the 2010 season.

Coming back for your senior season how is the outlook for this year's team?

"I think we have a lot of good players coming back. We have a lot of good junior and sophomores. It's going to make for a great season. We have a few first round prospects so it's going to be a great year."

I guess it's a Georgia Tech tradition that they lose players to the draft but still return some very good talent?

"Recruiting has been great the last couple of years. We continue to bring in good talent. That's what college baseball is all about."

Do you pay attention to the pre-season rankings?

"You obviously look at it but anything can happen. It's going to be a long season and you have to start working the first day of practice. We're excited to take it one day at a time."

You're nationally ranked but still not picked to finish at the top of the ACC?

"Yeah, the ACC is a great league. There's not a bad team in the league. That makes for great competition. We love coming out and playing teams like Virginia, Florida State and North Carolina. There's not a better league."

How would you compare this team to some of the others you've been on at Tech?

"I think my freshman year we had a lot of talent. We weren't as close as a team as we are this year. We're really close and we work really well together. I think that's what's going to be the difference. I think it's going to take us a long way."

Will the deeper pitching staff also make a difference this year?

"We have Deck McGuire who's going to be a first round pick. We also have Mark Pope, Brandon Cumpton, and Kevin Jacob. I think the pitching is really going to step up. It's going to be huge for us this year."

It's nice to have a definite closer?

"It's definitely nice. He's (Kevin Jacob) going to come in and shut people down. It' nice to have."

You've had a chance to watch the freshmen since the fall. Do any stick out in your mind?

"There's a few that are going to get significant playing time. Brandon Thomas is a position player and also Sam Dove. We have pitcher Buck Farmer who has a great arm. We have Clay Dalton, Ben McKinney, and Luke Bard. I think they're all going to get a chance to prove themselves this year."

Will the way the season ended last year motivate this year's team?

"Since I've been here we haven't made it past the regional. I know that's what the seniors want. I think the ultimate goal is to get to the college world series."

How does the team look defensively?

"You have Chase Burnette, Jeff Rowland, and Jay Dantzler in the outfield. They're three of the best. They cover a lot of ground. Our infield was pretty young last year with Connor Winn and Matt Skole as freshman. I think their experience will be great."

Are you accepting the role as one of the leaders on the team?

"There are six seniors and I think we're doing a pretty good job of leading this team. We're showing the younger guys what needs to be done. It's great to have that many older guys and there are a lot of juniors as well."

How do you feel about not playing Florida State this year?

"I love playing Florida State. I have a couple of kids that went to my high school that play for Florida State. I'm pretty upset that they're not on our schedule but hopefully we'll see them in the ACC championship game. It helps out our RPI and it's great competition and we love playing them."

Have you set any individual goals for yourself this year?

"I just hope the team will go far and obviously I want to improve my numbers. In the long run, I just hope the team goes a long way."

It seems you'll be seeing better pitches this year with the bats surrounding you in the lineup?

"We've got a lot of hitters. We have a great lineup. There's a lot of power and pitchers aren't going to be able to pitch around anybody. It's going to be great for everybody in our lineup." Top Stories