The Georgia Tech baseball will have their final major ACC test of the 2019 season this weekend as they travel to Durham, North Carolina.
Georgia Tech’s 2018-19 season so far couldn’t have gone too much better to say the least. Entering the final two weekends of the regular season, the Georgia Tech baseball program is 33-14 overall and 15-9 in conference play. The Jackets are tied with North Carolina atop the ACC Coastal standings at 15-9 and are one game ahead of Miami and two games ahead of Duke respectively. Making this series this weekend pivotal to the Jackets chances at winning the ACC Coastal. Last season, the Yellow Jackets took two of three from the Blue Devils including an impressive 20-7 victory.
The Jackets and the Blue Devils will take the diamond for game one on Friday night at 6:00 pm. But the normal Friday night starter for the Yellow Jackets, Xzavion Curry will not be taking the mound. Instead, it will be junior Amos Willingham taking the mound. Willingham this season is 5-2 with a 5.13 ERA through 14 appearances and 47.1 innings pitched.
Duke’s batting lineup will present challenges to Willingham who has had his ups and downs this season. The Blue Devils offense is one of the better offenses across the ACC with a team batting average of .272 on the season and an on-base percentage of .364. They have pop across the lineup but no one player who is especially dangerous when it comes to offensive power with the team leader(s), Michael Rothenberg and Kyle Gallagher having just six home runs.
The Yellow Jackets offense will look to bring their hot bats from last weekend to Durham after scoring 55 runs in a three-game set last weekend. The Jackets offense scored double-digit runs in each of their three games against Western Carolina including a 25-run performance in the first game of the series.
Duke’s pitching staff this season has been quite strong pitching their way to a 3.83 ERA on the season. Their bullpen is stronger than their starting rotation to say the least. All the Blue Devils starters have ERAs above 3.40. The Jackets starting lineup won’t be able to let up at all one they get past the Blue Devils starters this weekend.
Overall, the series between the two ACC Coastal programs should be fun and exciting. They’re two evenly matched teams when it comes to pitching but the Jackets certainly have the edge at the plate both when it comes to contact and power.