Dawgs get national seed... and Tech

ATHENS – Georgia received one of eight national seeds for the NCAA baseball tournament Monday despite losing four of its last five games, but the Bulldogs didn't dodge every bullet in the selection process.

Georgia, which won the SEC regular season and is the No. 8 national seed, will have to get past archrival Georgia Tech in a four-team regional that begins at Foley Field on Friday. Lipscomb and Louisville are the other two teams in the Athens Regional.

The teams will play a double-elimination format with one surviving for a Super Regional. The Bulldogs seeding guarantees they will host a Super Regional if they emerge from this quadrant of the bracket.

Georgia head coach David Perno was happy to see his team get a national seed but disappointed it will have to face the Yellow Jackets, who took two-of-three from his team during the regular season and are ranked highly in RPI projections.

"I don't see how a national seed can get a team that has an RPI of six or seventh in the country (depending on the projection) and we already played three times," Perno said. "That's a little difficult to swallow."

Georgia (35-21-1) will play Lipscomb (32-28), which won the Atlantic Sun championship, at 3 p.m. Friday. Georgia Tech (39-19), the No. 2 seed in the Athens Regional, will play Big East champion Louisville (41-19) at 7 p.m. The winners and losers of those games will meet Saturday with the finals scheduled for Sunday and Monday if necessary.

If the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets meet this weekend, it will be under different circumstances than their regular season meetings. Those games all were played in the middle of the week, when teams hold out their top starting pitchers.

"I know (the pitchers) they see will be totally different from what they have seen in the other three games," Perno said. "From that standpoint, I don't know if there is any carryover, but you do know each other and are familiar with their lineups."

Georgia will return to near full strength for the regional, Perno said. Ace starter Trevor Holder (shoulder) and All-SEC defensive first baseman Rich Poythress (wrist) will return to the lineup after missing the SEC Tournament last week, he said. Center fielder Matt Cerione will play despite suffering a minor concussion during the SEC Tournament.

The Bulldogs were 0-2 in Hoover, Ala., last week, scoring only three runs combined in the two games, and that came on the heels of losing two-of-three games to Alabama, but Perno is confident his team will bounce back.

He pointed out that the 1990 national champions team at Georgia, on which he played, was swept in its final regular season series and went 0-2 in the conference tournament.

"If we were young, we'd be worried about it, but we're a veteran team," he said, "and I don't think there is any confidence bruised around here."

The winner of the Athens Regional will face the winner of the Raleigh Regional, which is headlined by North Carolina State and South Carolina.

Dawg Post Top Stories