Sunday June 23rd, 2024 5:55PM

College baseball: Bulldogs earn No. 7 national seed in NCAA tourney; opens against Army Friday

By AccessWDUN Staff

ATHENS, Ga. — The Georgia baseball team will be the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Baseball Championships, which is set to begin May 31 at Foley Field in the Athens Regional.

The eighth-ranked Bulldogs (39-15) will be making their 14th NCAA Regional appearance and first since 2022, and will open against Army (31-21), on Friday at 1 p.m. ET at Foley Field. The game will be streamed on ESPN+ and be available on the Georgia Bulldog Sports Network.

UNC-Wilmington (39-19) is the No. 2 seed here and will face No. 3 seed Georgia Tech (31-23) here Friday at 7 p.m. (ESPN+).

The Bulldogs are 51-34 all-time in 13 NCAA regional appearances. Georgia has won six regional titles and four Super Regional championships and made six trips to the College World Series. The Bulldogs claimed the 1990 national title and reached the CWS Finals in 2008. Georgia will be playing host to a regional for the first time since 2019, when it went 2-2 and lost in the finals to Florida State. Georgia is a top-eight national seed for the sixth time in school history.

“You look at our total body of work, and I am not on the committee and not here to say that somebody shouldn't have got it or should have got it somewhere else, but I felt pretty good about our resume," Georgia coach Wes Johnson said on the Bulldogs earning the No. 7 national seed. “There are a lot of things you look at. We did some good stuff this year, this regular season. We beat a Clemson team here, and that was really good. I go all the way back to Northern Kentucky and how good they were. They won their conference tournament. They are going to give some people some fits. Georgia Tech is in our region. We took two from them. You keep going through the league, sweeping Alabama, sweeping Vanderbilt, and sweeping South Carolina at South Carolina. All three of those teams are in the tournament. It is kind of crazy when you hear that Tennessee and (Texas) A&M are talking that they are 30-something and three at home. We are one of those three losses. Those are tough places to play.”

This will be the first meeting between Georgia and Army. Georgia is 2-1 all-time against UNC Wilmington, the last meetings coming during the 2004 regular season in Athens. The Bulldogs went 2-0 against Tech this year, leading the series 220-169-2 dating to 1898.

“Starting with Army, they can really pitch,” Johnson added. “It's going to be a different look, not a ton of velo, but don't get me wrong, they just don't have a guy who is going to throw 100 is what I'm trying to say. They can really pitch; they mix their pitches well. They've got a couple of guys, especially right there in the middle of the order, hitting over .300 with 14 or 15 homers, and they've got guys who can steal some bases. They're going to do a lot of things. I don't want to get too caught up in matchups after that, but UNC Wilmington, we know, is extremely offensive and always has been. They've got two really good starters on the mound and obviously have a couple of bullpen pieces, so they're really good. Obviously, we know Georgia Tech because we played them. I think Georgia Tech got better as the year went on, and quite frankly, I'll have to completely rewatch them on film."

In 2024, 16 four-team regionals comprise the field of 64. The NCAA Tournament field, the top 16 seeds, and the bracket were all released on Monday on ESPN2. If a team wins its regional, it advances to a Super Regional, June 7-9 or 8-10. The winner of the Athens regional will face the winner of the N.C. State regional. The Wolfpack garnered the No. 10 national seed. In Super Regional action, eight sites play host to a best-of-three game series, with the winners earning one of eight spots to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. (June 14-24).

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