The Cavalier baseball team is riding high coming off of their longest road trip in recent memory. A 7-1 record on an 8 game road trip is just what the doctor ordered to calm the nerves of UVa fans fearing a missed NCAA tournament. To make things better, they're riding a six game winning streak entering this weekend's ACC showdown with Georgia Tech.
Problem is, Georgia Tech is no slouch. Although they lost their weekend series last week against Miami in Atlanta, they had won a series at Clemson and swept nationally ranked Coastal Carolina in the previous two weekends.
The Yellow Jackets are also fighting for a chance to host a regional. They have an RPI of 19 and 32 wins on the season meaning they are all but locked up for an NCAA appearance, but like UVa, a strong finish could mean they could play at home the first weekend.
Luckily for UVa, since Coach O'Connor took over in 2004, the Cavaliers have posted a 25-15-1 record against Danny Hall and the Yellow Jackets. Even better, UVa has only dropped one home series against Georgia Tech since 2004. Last season, the teams split the four matchups with Georgia Tech taking two of three in Atlanta before the Cavaliers laid the wood in an 11-0 victory in the opening round of the ACC Tournament.
Georgia Tech has made some waves this year at the plate. They'll feature 8 players batting over .300 and have a .317 team average. Further, they're averaging nearly 7.5 runs a game. They're lead by Sr. Matt Gonzalez with a .380 average, .419 on base percentage, and a .571 slugging percentage.
On the mound, Jr. Brandon Gold has emerged as the Yellow Jackets' star. He has a 6-2 record and 2.16 ERA in 12 starts. He does have a .259 batting average against, so he gives up hits, but is able to limit the damage those hits lead to. If UVa is to win the series, they'll need a lead heading into the 8th and 9th because GT has one of the best closers in college baseball with Matthew Gorst. Gorst has only given up 2 earned runs and struck out 37 in 28.2 innings, registering 10 saves on the season.
Although it's not a given, if UVa can take two of three from Georgia Tech this weekend, they'll likely assure themselves a top 6 seed for the ACC Tournament, meaning they would not have to play in the opening round, single elimination Tuesday games.