Georgia will go to Chapel Hill, N.C., as the No. 2 seed in North Carolina’s regional. The ACC champion Tar Heels are the overall No. 10 seed. The Bulldogs will play No. 3-seed Virginia Commonwealth at 7 p.m. Friday, with No. 4-seed Hofstra facing the Tar Heels. It’s Georgia’s 13th NCAA appearance. VCU has won 15 games in a row.
Kennesaw State, champion of the ASUN Conference, is a No. 3 seed in a regional hosted by Southern Mississippi, the overall No. 11 seed. The Owls are in the tournament for the first time since 2014, when they were upset winners of a regional hosted by Florida State and advanced to a super regional. Kennesaw State opens with No. 2-seed LSU at 7 p.m. Friday, while Southern Miss will play its first game against No. 4-seed Army.
“Lots of really good college baseball teams in our state, which is a testament to how good high-school baseball and amateur baseball are in Georgia,” Hall said.
Teams that advance out of the four-team regionals will advance to face another regional winner in a best-of-three super regional with a spot in the College World Series at stake. Tech would face the winner of the Statesboro Regional. Georgia would face the winner of the Stillwater (Okla.) Regional, and Kennesaw State would face the winner of the Miami regional.
Hall suggested that, given the selection committee’s pattern to send teams to regionals close to their campuses, that Auburn or Georgia Southern might have been suitable assignments ahead of Tennessee given Tech’s season. Auburn is the overall No. 14 seed, two slots ahead of Georgia Southern.
The No. 2 seed at Auburn is UCLA (RPI: 48). Notre Dame (the No. 2 in Statesboro) is No. 13 in RPI. Strictly by RPI, it could easily be argued that UCLA got the more favorable appointment over Tech despite being a worse team. But, the bracket is a puzzle, and with Florida State also at Auburn as the No. 3 seed, Tech couldn’t have gone there, too, as a fellow ACC member.
After the selection show, Hall spoke to the team, telling players that there is only one team in the country with more series wins against RPI top-25 teams than Tech, and that’s Tennessee. Tech has more than held its own against top competition. The Jackets are 9-5 against teams in the RPI top 15.
“I’ve told you guys many times – we can beat anybody we play, and I believe that,” Hall said. “You need to start believing. And we cannot overlook Campbell.”
Any feelings of dismay likely will be gone by Friday at noon, if not sooner.
“I know Tennessee’s a good team; we can’t look past Campbell, either,” All-ACC second baseman Chandler Simpson said. “We feel it’s a great opportunity for us to make some noise and make a statement for G.T. baseball.”
ESPN-Plus will livestream the Tech, Georgia, Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State games Friday.