Georgia Tech squeezes in Georgia prior to final series of season

Georgia Tech pitcher Dalton Smith pitches against Clemson on May 9, 2021 at Russ Chandler Stadium. (Ben Ennis/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics

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Georgia Tech pitcher Dalton Smith pitches against Clemson on May 9, 2021 at Russ Chandler Stadium. (Ben Ennis/Georgia Tech Athletics)

Credit: Georgia Tech Athletics

The timing for Georgia Tech’s second and final regular-season matchup with archrival Georgia could be a little better.

The Yellow Jackets play the Bulldogs Tuesday night at Russ Chandler Stadium in a game that will either give Tech in-state bragging rights for the next year or split the season series at 1-1. But, of no small importance, Tech also will begin a three-game home series with North Carolina on Thursday.

It’s the Jackets’ final regular-season series before the ACC Tournament starts next Tuesday, and the three games against the Tar Heels will help determine seeding for the event. Tech is in first place in the Coastal Division and would like to stay there, as it would guarantee the Jackets a top-two seed for the 12-team pool-play portion of the tournament.

So, coach Danny Hall would very much like to keep as many arms fresh and available for the series as he can, which likely means he’ll send out several pitchers to the mound against the Bulldogs. Likewise, Georgia starts its own three-game series Thursday at home against Mississippi.

But, at the same time, Tech needs to pick up wins to improve its standing for the NCAA Tournament, and a win over Georgia (considered a bubble team) would help. In a projected bracket released last Tuesday by D1Baseball, Tech was a No. 2 seed while the Bulldogs were a No. 3 seed and among the “last five in.”

The Jackets are 25-20 overall and are coming off a series loss at Miami. Tech will start Dalton Smith, who has a 6.59 ERA in 28 2/3 innings but held the Bulldogs to one earned run in three innings in a start in Athens on April 27, a 7-5 Jackets win. Georgia’s starter will be Charlie Goldstein, who has a 5.17 ERA in 15 2/3 innings.

Tech lost the season series to Georgia last year, a three-game sweep.

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