If recent history is anything to be counted on, UVa baseball should have no problem this weekend in Atlanta! The Hoos are riding a 5 game road winning streak, and a one game winning streak overall! Thanks JMU!
Georgia Tech, however, is on a hot streak of their own. The Yellow Jackets have won five of their last six, including a series win last weekend against the Hokies in Blacksburg and a 13-6 drubbing of UGA in Athens.
Similar to UVa, GT has seen their fair share of struggles this year. The two perennial powers are both under .500 in the ACC for the first time in God knows how long (probably 2008) and both are in desperate need of a series win to try and separate themselves from the log jam in the middle of the ACC Coastal.
I can tell you, Coach O'Connor and his staff take the most pride in beating Georgia Tech. There is a legendary story that gets shared within the program at least once a season about Coach O'Connor's first team in 2004 sweeping the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta to shock the conference and give Oak his first ACC series victory. Since then, he's done pretty well against Danny Hall winning 23 of the 37 games the two teams have played. That record includes a series sweep last season in Charlottesville.
As a team, the Yellow Jackets are pretty good at the plate, batting .287 as a team and averaging just under seven runs a game. Their leading hitter, freshman Kel Johnson, has missed some time with an injury, but senior Daniel Spingola has picked up the slack, leading the Yellow Jackets by batting .311 with 26 runs scored and 23 RBI.
While all three of their starting pitchers this weekend will have a 3.00+ ERA, with the exception of the Saturday starter Cole Pitts, the others have winning records. The brightest spot on the Yellow Jacket staff is sophomore closer Zac Ryan. In 17 appearances, he has a 5-1 record, 6 saves and a 1.95 ERA. In 32.1 innings, he's only walked seven batters and has struck out 28.
Should be a tight series in Atlanta. As mentioned, both teams desperately want a series win, and that should show on the field. Two seasons ago, Georgia Tech had UVa's number in Atlanta, but Coach O'Connor knows how to coach against Danny Hall. Look for a good weekend.