The Georgia Tech baseball program will need a little help on Friday night but the Jackets have a chance to clinch the ACC Coastal.
Entering the final two days of the regular season, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets have a one-game lead over the North Carolina Tar Heels and Miami Hurricanes in the ACC Coastal standings. The Jackets sit at 37-15 overall and 18-10 in conference play, the Tar Heels and Hurricanes are tied in second at 17-11 respectively.
On Friday night, all three programs will be in action and the Yellow Jackets with a little bit of help could clinch the ACC Coastal. The Jackets will have the easiest opponent of the three programs, taking on the ACC’s worst program in the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Jackets won 12-7 last night in a thrilling comeback over the Panthers.
The Tar Heels will take on North Carolina State in game two of their series, after winning 5-3 on Thursday night. The Wolfpack are 40-16 overall this season but 17-13 in conference play, they’ll look to bounce back from Friday night’s loss.
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Miami, on the other hand, will take on the Duke Blue Devils. The Blue Devils are 29-23 this season but 14-14 in conference play. The Hurricanes narrowly took game one last night by a final score of 4-3.
The Jackets have been atop of the ACC Coastal for most of the season now thanks to their fantastic season and the fact that they lost just one ACC series this season, that being their first series of the season to Miami. Since then, the Jackets have dominated, going 17-8 in conference play.
What must happen:
First and foremost, the Jackets must win on Friday night, that probably goes without saying but there are no cases in which the Jackets can lose and clinch the ACC Coastal on Friday. Second, both Miami and North Carolina must lose on Friday night. A Tech win and a loss by both programs would give the Jackets a two-game lead with one game in the season to go. Therefore clinching the division.
If the Jackets win and both UNC and Miami win, it would come down to the final day of the season where we could theoretically see a three-way tie at the top of the standings.
If Georgia Tech for some reason did not win the Coastal, it wouldn’t have too many negative aspects. The Jackets would most likely finish second in the Coastal and still be one of the top-four seeds in the ACC Tournament in all likelihood. Additionally, they would still most likely make a regional for the NCAA Tournament. In reality, losing the Coastal would just be an unsatisfactory way to end the season and one that would leave a sense of unfinished business.
The good news is the Jackets have already clinched their spot in the ACC Tournament but winning the ACC Coastal would allow the Jackets to be one of the top two seeds in the ACC Tournament. Additionally, while the Jackets look set to play in an NCAA Regional this season, winning the Coastal and making a strong run in the ACC Tournament, would give the Jackets a great chance of hosting a regional once the NCAA Tournament arrives.
Either way, it’s been a helluva season for Danny Hall’s squad and it’s been a season of overachieving. That being said, the Jackets are a dangerous team and have the team to make a deep run in the postseason this season. It should be a fun final month to the season for the Yellow Jackets.