The Georgia Tech baseball program’s hunt for a national championship will resume on Friday night when the Jackets take on the Florida A&M Rattlers.
Georgia Tech’s next step to a national championship will get underway on Friday night when the Yellow Jackets host the Florida A&M Rattlers in the second game of the Atlanta Regional. The Jackets are coming off a disappointing loss in the ACC Championship game but still were able to lock in the No.3 seed nationally and host the Atlanta Regional with the Auburn Tigers, Coastal Carolina Chanticleers, and Florida A&M Rattlers coming to town.
As mentioned above, the Jackets and Rattlers face off in the second game of the day as the Auburn Tigers and Coastal Carolina Chanticleers start the day off at 12 p.m at Russ Chandler Stadium. The winner will go onto face the winner of the Georgia Tech vs Florida A&M game while the losers will also meet up on Saturday in the double-elimination regional.
Taking the mound for the Jackets on Friday night will be junior right hander Amos Willingham. Willingham will make his ninth start of the season for the Jackets against the Rattlers. Willingham has been part of the rotation each of the last four weeks and has been up-and-down to say the least. That being said, his last start was quality against Notre Dame, allowing two earned runs over six innings. He’s only pitched more than five innings once in his last four starts but being able to go deep in the game on Friday would be tremendous for the Jackets especially if they hope to make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, keeping the arms healthy and having light work will be important early on.
The Jackets pitching staff won’t have the hardest challenge in Florida A&M but they can’t take them lightly either. Overall, the Rattlers have a team batting average of .255 this season just 20 home runs. They won’t walk much either with just 268 walks in over 2,000 plate appearances. They also struck out 463 times this season.
Florida A&M will most likely send junior right hander Kyle Coleman to the mound. Coleman has been the Rattlers top pitcher all season, posting a 3.26 ERA across 16 starts this season. He doesn’t allow many home runs with just three allowed all season but he will allow his fair share of hits with 97 allowed over 94 innings. Opposing batters have a batting average of .263 against Coleman this season.
Prediction: Georgia Tech 12-4 win
This game has the chances of being close through the first few innings but ultimately this is a game where Georgia Tech’s offense should make a big difference in the middle to late innings. The Rattlers will surely throw their best pitchers out their on Friday night and the Jackets hitters will have to be ready for everything and anything to be thrown at them. Expect a big game out of Tristin English who has was on fire in the ACC Tournament last week.