UGA-Georgia Tech baseball plan 3-game, weekend series next year

Georgia shortstop Cole Tate (15) gets the first out in an attempted double play as Georgia Tech's Austin Wilhite slides nto second base at Foley Field in Athens on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)
Georgia shortstop Cole Tate (15) gets the first out in an attempted double play as Georgia Tech's Austin Wilhite slides nto second base at Foley Field in Athens on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. (Photo by Tony Walsh/UGA Athletics)

Credit: Tony Walsh

Credit: Tony Walsh

ATHENS — Tech-Georgia baseball plan to go back to playing three games in a row on the weekend early in the season next year.

The rivalrous teams are playing just twice this season. The first game went down last night at UGA’s Foley Field. The Yellow Jackets knocked off the No. 20-ranked Bulldogs, 7-5.

Georgia will return the game at Tech’s Russ Chandler Stadium, but not until May 18.

In 2020, the teams played three in a row on the weekend for the first time in many years. They played at Foley Field on Friday night, Tech’s field on Saturday then at the neutral site of Coolray Field in Lawrenceville in a game in which the proceeds benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

The coaches like that set up better because makes for a fairer competition. Typically, they can trot out their best starting pitchers and get a better overall view of their teams.

Last night illustrated the hazards of playing midweek games. On a “staff night,” the Bulldogs trotted out seven pitchers who gave up 10 walks. Tech also had four different pitchers take the mound.

“Details are not set yet, but that’s the plan,” Georgia coach Scott Stricklin said. “We want to go back to a weekend, three-game series.”

Where they’d play that third, neutral-site game is not yet determined. They played at the Gwinnett Stripers’ Coolray Field last year in a game because the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park was not available. Billed the “Farmview Market Spring Classic,” a sellout crowd of 10,299 fans watched Georgia win 9-3.

Stricklin said they wouldn’t mind returning to Gwinnett but are working with the Braves on a neutral-site venue. Last year represented the first three-game, weekend set for the teams in 59 years.

Tech and Georgia originally were scheduled to play a three-game set early this season as well. But that was wiped out with the ACC’s decision to go to a front-loaded conference schedule in attempt to better navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Coming into last night’s game, the Yellow Jackets (20-16, 15-12 ACC) had already played 27 conference games.

The Georgia-Tech baseball series is one of the oldest around. Last night’s game was their 382nd battle on the baseball diamond dating back to the first game in 1898. The Bulldogs lead the series 215-165-2.

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