Georgia Tech projected into NCAA baseball tournament

The Georgia Tech baseball team gathers together at Mac Nease Baseball Park on April 25, 2021, when the Yellow Jackets defeated Florida State 9-8. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)
The Georgia Tech baseball team gathers together at Mac Nease Baseball Park on April 25, 2021, when the Yellow Jackets defeated Florida State 9-8. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Its record isn’t the healthiest, but Georgia Tech was projected into the NCAA baseball tournament by Baseball America in a bracket released Wednesday.

The Yellow Jackets were tabbed as a No. 3 seed in a regional hosted by Ole Miss, along with No. 2-seed Southern Mississippi and No. 4-seed Connecticut. Ole Miss, which is 28-12 and 15th in RPI, was cast as the tournament’s No. 14 overall seed.

The Jackets are 20-16 after defeating Georgia in Athens on Tuesday, a win that moved them up from No. 59 in RPI to No. 44. In the projection, all 16 teams assigned No. 4 seeds were automatic qualifiers, as were five of the No. 3 seeds, meaning that the Jackets aren’t too far from the bubble as an at-large invitee. (They’re not among Baseball America’s “last four in,” however.)

Interestingly, Louisville (23-11) was projected as the No. 5 overall seed and a regional host despite being 43rd in RPI, one slot ahead of the Jackets. According to Baseball America, the RPI rankings of ACC teams have been depressed because they have played fewer non-conference games than they would normally.

Tech has 13 regular-season games remaining, plenty of time to distance itself from (or fall back to) the bubble. There are four weekend series — Kennesaw State, Clemson, at Miami and North Carolina — and a midweek home game against Georgia on May 18.

The Jackets are seeking their second consecutive NCAA berth (not counting the 2020 season that was canceled because of COVID-19) after having missed three of the previous four tournaments.

Following Tech’s win over the Bulldogs, coach Danny Hall was hopeful that his team, which has been struggling to find consistency at the plate, was finding its form.

“We just need to get ‘em all trying to go at the same time, and if we do that, we have a chance to be really good down the stretch,” he said.

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