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Georgia Tech Baseball: 2020 Schedule Preview - April and May

Here’s the home-stretch, ladies and gents. Will Tech get hot at the right time?

Photos by ACC, Ken Langley

The second half of the 2020 Yellow Jacket baseball season starts with a battery of preseason top 25 teams, gives way to a soft mid-April and early-May, and then is capped off with one of Tech’s biggest challenges. Can Tech keep itself focused through the less challenging parts of the slate and refocus as it heads towards potential postseason play?


Here’s how the back half of the Yellow Jacket baseball season shakes out (in a nice tabular format):

2020 Baseball Schedule - April and May

Dates Team Conference 2019 Final RPI Rank 2019 Overall Record 2019 Record vs GT 2019 Postseason Finish Notes
Dates Team Conference 2019 Final RPI Rank 2019 Overall Record 2019 Record vs GT 2019 Postseason Finish Notes
4/3 to 4/5 at #23 North Carolina ACC 12 42-17 2-2 Won ACC Tournament Championship Game; Lost in Chapel Hill Super Regional
4/7 vs #9 Auburn $EC 19 38-28 2-2 Eliminated in 3rd Rd of SEC tournament; Lost in CWS Rivalry
4/10 to 4/12 vs #16 NC State ACC 18 42-17 0-1 Eliminated in ACC Tournament Semifinal; Lost in Greenville Regional
4/14 at Kennesaw State SoCon 171 27-29 0-2 N/A
4/17 to 4/19 at Pittsburgh ACC 194 21-34 1-2 N/A
4/21 at Mercer SoCon 107 35-27 0-2 Won SoCon Tournament Championship; Lost in Athens Regional
4/24 to 4/26 vs Boston College ACC 55 31-27 1-2 Lost in ACC Tournament Semifinal
5/1 to 5/3 vs Bowling Green MAC 275 16-33 N/A N/A
5/5 vs GA State Sun Belt 232 15-41 0-2 N/A
5/8 to 5/10 at Virginia ACC 48 32-24 1-2 Eliminated in ACC Tournament Pool Play
5/14 to 5/16 vs #3 Miami ACC 17 39-18 2-1 Eliminated in ACC Tournament Pool Play; Lost in Starkville Regional Final
Data and rankings provided by D1Baseball.com.

For comparison, Georgia Tech finished 2019 at 1st in the ACC Coastal at 43-19 (19-11 ACC), ranked #8 in D1Baseball’s RPI, lost in the ACC Tournament Championship Game, and fell short in the Atlanta Regional.

Breakdown

Let’s organize these games chronologically for a change:

Tough Early!

The Jackets begin April with a brutal two-week stretch: a three game set at a preseason top-25 and defending ACC tournament champ North Carolina gives way to home fixtures versus rival and 2019 College World Series participant Auburn and 2019 ACC tournament semifinalist NC State. Carolina matched Tech hit for hit in the ACC championship game and throughout their series in Atlanta last season, and there’s no reason to think that will change in 2020. NC State melted down in its ACC semifinal versus Tech and disappointed in its Regional appearance in Greenville, but the Wolfpack remain Atlantic division contenders (the coaches of the ACC think they are, at least).

Prediction: 4-3

Soft Midsection

Just like the first half, this is where Tech can grab some easy wins (well, relatively) and start building momentum late in the season. We’ve already discussed Mercer as a tough out (especially with that game in Macon this time around), but the others are...ok at best. Kennesaw State didn’t even make their conference tournament, while Pittsburgh and Bowling Green, and Georgia State really stunk it up in 2019. Boston College was middling, but the Eagles made the ACC tournament semifinals, which sounds great...until you see that they were blown out by North Carolina, 13-5. Tech isn’t playing MAAC or OVC teams in this part of the schedule, but at certain points, things seem to get close (per RPI, at least).

Prediction: 10-2

ACC Tournament Tuneup?

The Jackets cap off the season with two crucial ACC series; they’ll face Virginia in Charlottesville and then preseason #3 Miami at home. Success in these games is vital as Tech (hopefully) heads into the ACC tournament and looks to begin a new streak of NCAA tournament appearances. Like Boston College, Virginia was mediocre at best in 2019, but the Hoos still played Tech very close, dropping one game by a single run and escaping another by the same margin. The highly-touted Hurricanes faced much the same when they played Tech last March, but unlike the Cavaliers, Miami was able to pick up two close victories to close out the weekend and finished the season as the only team to beat Tech in an ACC series. Given these margins between these teams last year, the denouement of Tech’s season is bound to be weird.

Prediction: 4-3

Summary

This is where things could get really, really fun for the Jackets — a strong back-half to the season will see Tech positioned well for ACC postseason play and have it firing on all cylinders towards the NCAA tournament. But the key for Tech might not necessarily be the opponents it faces in April and May — instead, it might be staying healthy late into the spring. given that a number of Yellow Jacket pitchers suffered what seemed to be over-use injuries as the calendar turned from April to May in 2019. However, if the pitching staff can remain intact and the lineup continues its (now typical) power-hitting ways, there’s no reason that Tech can’t ride a hot streak through the ACC tournament and right into the NCAAs.

April/May Projected Record: 18-8

Overall Projected Record: 38-17


For continuing coverage of the run-up to the 2020 baseball season, click here.

What are your thoughts about the second half of the 2020 schedule? Let us know below!