May 21, 2001
ATLANTA — The 20th-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team makes its 16th NCAA Regional appearance in the last 17 years this weekend in Athens, Ga. The Yellow Jackets are the No. 2 seed in the four-team regional and will face third-seeded Coastal Carolina on Friday at 1 p.m.
The other half of the bracket matches top-seed and host Georgia against fourth-seeded Georgia Southern at 7 p.m., and the double-elimination tournament continues Saturday and Sunday at Foley Field. Saturday’s games are scheduled for 11 a.m. (loser’s bracket), 3 p.m. (winner’s bracket) and 7 p.m., while Sunday’s championship is at 1 p.m., followed by a 4 p.m. game f necessary.
Georgia Tech, which received an at-large berth, is making its second consecutive trip to the NCAA Regionals after advancing to the NCAA Super Regionals in 2000. The Yellow Jackets’ record stands at 41-18 after advancing to the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament last week.
“Anytime you get in the NCAA Tournament, it’s an exciting time,” said head coach Danny Hall. ” I’m excited because it’s going to give a lot of Georgia Tech fans a chance to keep watching us play. It’s great for baseball in our state to see three of the four teams in that regional from the state of Georgia. The whole focus in our state is going to be on college baseball.”
Coastal Carolina (40-18) received an automatic bid as the champions of the Big South Conference after upsetting top-seeded Winthrop in the conference tournament title game.
“There are going to be no secrets because we’ve played Georgia Southern four times and Georgia three times,” continued Hall. “The unknown is the team that we’re going to be playing, Coastal Carolina. I know they must be very good because all year long, everybody told me how good Winthrop is, and for them to beat Winthrop in their conference tournament tells me they must be very good and they must be playing well right now. “
Tech and the Chanticleers last met in 1995, when the Jackets won a three-game series in Atlanta. Tech leads the series, 10-1, including a victory in the 1991 NCAA Regionals.
Tech swept four games from Georgia Southern (41-18) this season, winning 5-4 and 12-6 at home and 23-3 and 10-2 on the road. The Yellow Jackets have won 13 in a row against the Eagles, including one game in last year’s NCAA Regional, and lead the series 58-20.
Georgia (41-18) captured two of the three meetings with Tech this season, winning 15-9 in Atlanta and 5-4 in Athens. The Jackets won the first game, 10-8, in Athens, while the scheduled fourth meeting was rained out. Georgia leads the all-time series 179-134-3, but Tech is 19-11 against the Bulldogs under Hall.
Tech’s NCAA Tournament record is 37-34, including a trip to the College World Series in 1994.
“I think we played well in the ACC Tournament,” said Hall. “We’re getting guys on base, we’re pitching well and we’re playing good defense. We didn’t hit quite as well as we needed to in the clutch, but that can change overnight. We’re very together as a team. This team has a lot to prove, and I know we’re going to play well in Athens.”
The winner of the Athens Regional will advance to face the winner of the Tallahassee Regional in one of eight Super Regionals that will take June 1-3 at campus sites. The eight Super Regional winners will move on to the College World Series June 8-16 in Omaha, Neb.
Tickets for the Athens Regional are available by calling (706) 542-1231. Tournament ticket books are available for $48 (reserved) and $36 (general admission) for adults and $24 for students (general admission).