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Georgia Tech Baseball: Schedule Preview and Prediction - May

This is the end of the line, friends. Do the Jackets get over the tourney hump?

Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics

Tech makes its tourney dreams come true or disappear with their performance in May. Let’s take a closer look at how the Jackets close out their season. While you’re at it, you might want to read about February, March, and April too.

Here’s how May shakes out for Georgia Tech:

May 2019 Series

Dates Team Conference 2018 Final RPI Rank 2018 Record
Dates Team Conference 2018 Final RPI Rank 2018 Record
5/3 to 5/5 vs Western Carolina Southern 241 11-47
5/10 to 5/12 at Duke ACC 14 45-18
5/14 vs Mercer Atlantic Sun 141 38-22
5/16 to 5/18 vs Pittsburgh ACC 108 29-26
5/21 to 5/26 ACC Tournament ACC N/A N/A
RPI Rankings provided by NCAA, Top 25 provided by D1 Baseball

For comparison, Georgia Tech finished 2018 in #3rd in the ACC Coastal at 31-27 and ranked #56 in RPI.

After the marathon of difficult games the Jackets play in April, the relative ease of May should be a nice respite to end the season and prepare for the conference tournament and possible postseason play. Duke looks to be a final litmus test for the Jackets’ season — win that series versus a fellow possible NCAA Regional contender, and Tech might be sitting pretty either on the NCAA tournament bubble or safely into the tournament field. Despite their RPIs, Mercer is traditionally not an easy win either and Pittsburgh always gives Tech trouble, regardless of sport.

ACC Opponents

Duke: The Blue Devils open 2019 with similar aspirations to Tech: serious contention in the ACC and an NCAA tournament berth. The difference is that Duke actually made the postseason last year, won the Athens Regional, and almost won their Super Regional matchup with Texas Tech. The boys from Durham lost a significant amount of talent in the bullpen that it will have to replace with young arms, but they still have ace LHP Graeme Stinson, who posted a 1.89 ERA in 62.0 IP of relief work with 98 Κs in 2018. Sophomores Joey Loperfido and Kennie Taylor make up a dynamic duo at the plate and will be the main engine for a 2019 Blue Devil offense that lost six of its eight top hitters from 2018. The Jackets took two of three games from Duke in 2018 (with one of those wins being a 20-7 blowout) — I expect the 2019 edition of this series to be similarly competitive and hotly contested.

Pittsburgh: Despite posting a sub-.500 ACC record, Pitt closed out the year very well, putting together a semifinal run in their first-ever appearance in the ACC tournament that included pool play wins over Tech and soon-to-be CWS participant UNC. The Panthers bring back a load of talent from 2018, including MLB draftee P Derek West, ace pitcher Dan Hammer, and talented sophomore sluggers Chris Cappas and Ron Washington, Jr., but a significant portion of the roster remains very young, with 13 freshmen listed on the team sheet. Pitt also replaced its head coach this offseason, bringing in former FSU associate head coach Mike Bell to replace longtime coach Joe Jordano. Pitt is never an easy opponent for the Jackets — Tech only took one of four games from the Panthers in 2018. Look for this series to be tough but winnable.

Non-Conference Opponents

Western Carolina: The Catamounts were baaaaaaaaaaaaad in 2018, managing only five measly SoCon wins over the course of the season. Surprisingly, they made a deep run in the SoCon conference tournament, bounced out by eventual runner-up Mercer in the third round. WCU returns a bevy of starters from last year, including SoCon all-Freshman and Freshman all-American INF Justice Bigbie, but half of the roster is made up of underclassmen. It will be interesting to see how this team comes together in 2018, but I am not too worried about the Jackets’ chances at home versus the Catamounts.

Mercer: The Bears’ final 2018 RPI gives little respect to its record and its second-place finish in the conference — it belies that this team, despite their strength of schedule (ranked a lowly 258th in the nation), is talented and tricky enough to keep pace with the cream of the crop, given that the Jackets had trouble putting Mercer away in 2018 (splitting the season series by falling in the home leg 6-2, but redeeming themselves in the away leg 16-8). Mercer returns talented now-sophomore slugger RJ Yeager (named the 2019 SoCon Preseason Player of the Year by Perfect Game), three other positional starters from 2018, and a pitching staff that led the nation in K/9 and set school and conference strikeout records. They also brought in highly-touted 3B Angelo DiSpigna, named the 2019 SoCon Freshman of the Year by Perfect Game. Perfect Game also tabbed the Bears as prohibitive favorites in SoCon, and while they may be poised to dominate a conference many deem weak, they will still be a tough opponent to face in a weekday home-and-home series.


Tech should sail through the vast majority of these games, only getting tripped up versus Duke. Given that the Yellow Jackets took two off the Blue Devils to end the season last year, I’m willing to say they do the same this year, along with a sweep of Western Carolina, a win versus Mercer, and two wins over Pittsburgh. That should put Tech at 8-2 for May, wrapping up a 39-16 regular season (given previous predictions by Ethan, me, and me). That should have Tech in very good position with regards to the NCAA tournament as it heads into ACC pool play.

Got any thoughts on Tech’s schedule in May? Let us know in the comments below!