Georgia Tech begins final month of regular season with tough ACC stretch

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will close the regular season with a tough conference stretch that begins Friday at Clemson. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech

Credit: Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will close the regular season with a tough conference stretch that begins Friday at Clemson. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Georgia Tech baseball still has work to do to get itself back to the postseason. But boy, is the job ahead a harrowing one.

The Yellow Jackets (27-15, 11-10 ACC) start May with a trip to Clemson for a three-game series that begins Friday. That matchup is part of the team’s final 11-game stretch to close the regular season, a stretch that includes three of the league’s top squads.

“You play college baseball and you wanna play at Georgia Tech and play in the ACC for these opportunities,” Tech coach Danny Hall said.

Tech has an RPI of 53 as of Thursday and would be considered a bubble team if the season ended today. Thus, if the Yellow Jackets don’t want to leave anything to chance, they need a few more victories to pad the resume.

The good news for Hall’s bunch is that nine of its 11 remaining contests are against Clemson (4 RPI), Duke (21) and Florida State (5). Tech also hosts Auburn (41) on Tuesday, and a win over the Tigers would be considered a quality result over the non-conference opponent.

Earlier this week, Baseball America pegged Tech as one of the six teams that barely would miss making the NCAA tournament field of 64. On the other hand, D1Baseball projected Tech as a No. 3 seed playing in a regional in Columbia, South Carolina.

Tech missed making the NCAA Tournament in 2023, and it appeared the Jackets would be dealt a similar fate as of March 30. At that time Tech had lost six consecutive and was 16-10 overall and 3-6 in league play.

But the calendar turned to April, the sun rose again and the Jackets begin to play better ball. They’ve won four consecutive league series since, including taking two of three at Virginia and two of three from Virginia Tech at home.

Senior Cam Jones recalled a postgame locker room session during the aforementioned losing streak in which the Jackets decided to change their mindset and vowed to play up to the level of their future competition.

“We had a not-so-good March, but we’ve had a really good April,” Hall added Monday during an appearance on ACC Network. “We’ve won every series in April – but we had to. We kind of dug ourselves a hole. We made just a few changes in weekend pitching starters and adjusted a little bit in some of the guys we were playing and how we were using ‘em. To the players’ credit, they’ve done just a tremendous job of competing.”

The Jackets will face a Clemson team ranked inside the top five in most major college baseball polls. The Tigers (34-9, 15-6 ACC) are 6-6 over their past 12 games, but still have the conference’s top pitching staff in terms of WHIP (1.31) and second-best staff in terms of ERA (4.08).

After this weekend the Jackets have a five-game homestand starting with Auburn on Tuesday and followed by a three-game series with Duke starting May 10 and the home finale with Mercer on May 14. Tech ends the regular season in Tallahassee, Florida, where it is scheduled to play Florida State starting May 16 ahead of the ACC tournament beginning May 21 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

“You’re not only jockeying for position in your conference, you’re also hopefully jockeying for position in an NCAA Tournament – and you have to beat good teams this time of year,” Hall said. “The first one we get an opportunity to play is Clemson. It’s on the road at their place, and they’re playing great. It’s a tremendous challenge.”