Just a few short weeks remain in college baseball regular season play with a lot of big games still to be played. Let’s take a look at the top D1 teams in the state as we enter the home stretch of the season.
1.Georgia Bulldogs (27-13, 10-8)
Around this time last month, we were talking about Georgia taking yet another series from an SEC opponent. Now, they’ve dropped three straight series to three good teams — Vanderbilt, Kentucky, and Ole Miss. They’ve still yet to be swept this year and there’s still positives despite dropping three straight series — like a thrilling win at Ole Miss in front of 10,000 fans and playing very competitive ball with some of the best teams in the nation. Even as their hot start fades, the team is in nearly every contest with one of the toughest schedules in the country to boot. It’s why they’re still the only Georgia team ranked in the NCAA top 25. If I were to tell you this team would be 10-8 through their first 18 games in conference play, 14 games over .500 overall, and would be ranked in the top 25, I think we’d all take it.
➡ Last month’s ranking: 1st
2. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (22-19, 9-12)
They were on quite a roll, averaging over 7 runs over their past 22 games with a hot offense — and then UNC happened. One of the best teams in the nation swept the Jackets out of town after the team had rebounded to .500 at 9-9. Tech looks to turn things around as they square off against Georgia at home tonight. They trail 1 game to none in the three-game season series set which is always a competitive one. (By the way, did you see where Tech’s Kyle McCann hit THREE grand slams in SIX games? Yeah, that actually happened.)
⬆ Last month’s ranking: 4th
3. Mercer Bears (28-14, 8-7)
Didn’t see this one coming. The runaway favorite to take the Southern Conference title is now struggling to stay above .500 in conference play. They were off to an incredible start, even going 7-0 in their first seven games vs. in-state rivals before losing one to Georgia Tech. They just can’t seem to figure out their conference — and they’re running out of time. (By the way, they play at #1 Florida tonight … that might be a long night for the Bears).
⬇ Last month’s ranking: 2nd
4. Georgia Southern Eagles (19-20, 10-7)
Just took a big conference series win from UT Arlington. They’re in fourth place, but just three games back of 2016 National Champion Coastal Carolina in the standings. They’ve got quite a few road conference games left before wrapping up the year at home by entertaining intrastate and conference rival, Georgia State, in a three game series.
⬇ Last month’s ranking: 3rd
5. Kennesaw State Owls (23-17, 9-3)
They’re 9-3, yes, but strength of schedule has a lot to do with this ranking. They’ve dominated conference play, but have had trouble with tougher competition (see recent 17-7 loss to Georgia Tech). Definitely a team worth keeping an eye on, though. Speaking of tougher competition, they play at #12 Clemson tonight.
⬆ Last month’s ranking: 6th
6. Georgia State Panthers (19-20, 6-11)
They started the year 11-4. Since their hottest start in program history, they are an ugly 8-16. Was hoping the hot start would keep up for Georgia State, who seemed to have quite a bit of potential at the beginning of the year. To their credit, they haven’t played a cupcake schedule, either. Hope they can turn things around and make things interesting in these last sixteen games against some easier competition.
⬇ Last month’s ranking: 5th
7. Savannah State Tigers (5-17, 2-7)
They’ve (currently) got a better record than the Cincinnati Reds, so there’s that.
➡ Last month’s ranking: 7th