Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-3) vs Clemson Tigers (11-1)
Times: Friday 4:00 PM, Saturday 4:00 PM, Sunday 1:00 PM
Video: ACC Network Extra (WatchESPN)
Audio: Clemson Tigers Radio Network, TigerCast on ClemsonTigers.com
Projected Pitchers: Fri: Xzavion Curry (3-0) vs Jacob Hennessy (1-0), Sat: Brant Hurter (0-0) vs Brooks Crawford (1-0), Sun: Connor Thomas (2-0) vs Jake Higginbotham (2-0)
All Time Record: Clemson leads the series at 111-109-3
Last season: The Tigers took two out of three games against GT in Atlanta
Jackets Swarming Lately
Georgia Tech got off to the season with a bit of a bumpy start. Hosting the "Atlanta Challenge", they defeated Minnesota on Opening Day, but went on to drop the next two games to Bradley and UConn. Since that, Tech has gone 8-1, with the lone loss coming last Sunday to University of Illinois-Chicago. The Jackets are coming off of a 12-6 win at in state foe Georgia State. Outfielder Chase Murray is the offensive leader for the Jackets, touting an impressive .458 batting average along with a team leading twenty-two hits. Junior catcher Joey Bart is back to provide some pop for the Yellow Jackets. Bart leads the team in homers so far with four. Last season, Bart was a Johnny Bench Award semifinalist and second team All ACC. Friday's pitcher Xzavion Curry made history last season by being the first true freshman pitcher to start Opening Day for Georgia Tech since Kris Wilson in 1995. The Atlanta product comes into the series with a 3-0 record and a 1.00 ERA. Curry is also a shortstop by trade, and hit .500 for the Jackets last season.
This doesn't have much to do with this weekend's matchup, but I felt it was worth noting. One of the great things about being a Clemson baseball fan is the extensive coverage available on the team, including radio broadcasts. If you're driving around the state on a spring day and the Tigers are playing, there's a fairly good chance that you can tune in on your radio and catch the game. This season, six South Carolina radio stations are broadcasting the full Clemson baseball schedule, while an additional nine offer a partial schedule. Fans of Georgia Tech, which is a very successful program, do not have this luxury. Currently, Georgia Tech baseball is only carried by one station— WREK, the student radio station. While internet streaming makes this not as big of a deal as it used to be, it is still mind blowing that a major D1 baseball program is still being broadcast by student radio. While Clemson baseball was carried by WSBF student radio for years through the late eighties, as the sport has grown, so has the coverage and it is now covered by the Clemson Tigers Sports Network. This is another good reminder of how good Clemson fans have it, especially when it comes to sports coverage.
Eye on the Tigers
After a pair of come from behind midweek games over Wofford and Michigan State, the Tigers stand at 11-1 are currently sixth in the RPI. The Tiger look to maintain this season's perfect home record , which stands at 9-0. RS Junior second baseman Justin Hawkins will be one to watch this weekend. The USC Sumter transfer has made five starts this season, including the past three games, and has hit for an impressive .333 with five hit and two homers.
Friday night's game was originally set to start at 6:30 PM, but has now been moved to 4:00 PM. "Officially", the reason is to spread out game times in case weather forces a double header on Saturday, however I can't help but think a certain big basketball game Friday night may have had something to do with it. Regardless, a double header on Saturday is possible, so make sure to keep an eye on social media this weekend.
UPDATE: Games 2 and 3 will now be a double header on Saturday. The first game will begin at noon, and the following game will begin 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game.