2019 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Atlanta Regional Preview

To view the full bracket, click here. You can also find our bracket analysis here. 

Friday Schedule

No. 1 Georgia Tech vs. No. 4 Florida A&M (7 p.m. ET, ESPN3)
No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 3 Coastal Carolina (12 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

No. 1 Georgia Tech (41-17)

BA 500 Prospects: C Kyle McCann (135), OF Chase Murray (308), RHP/OF Tristin English (330), RHP Connor Thomas (360)

Season In A Sentence: After missing regionals each of the last two seasons, Georgia Tech enjoyed a bounce back season for the ages, going 41-17, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division and hosting a regional—as the No. 3 overall seed, no less—for the first time since 2011.

Best Pitcher: RHP Connor Thomas, Jr. — Thomas is 9-1, 3.28 in 104.1 innings for the Yellow Jackets. Thomas leads Tech with 97 strikeouts with just 18 walks and has been its most reliable starter this season. 

Best Hitter: C Kyle McCann, Jr. — McCann is the latest power-hitting Georgia Tech catcher and earned a spot on the all-ACC first team. His 23 home runs rank fourth in the nation, and he’s hitting .298/.471/.693 this season, his first behind the plate full time.

Outlook: The Yellow Jackets offense has been one of the best in the ACC this season and is averaging 7.5 runs per game. They can do a little bit of everything, from speed to power and have six regulars with an OPS of better than .800. Georgia Tech will need that offense this weekend. It’s beat up on the mound as lefthander Brant Hurter is out for the season and righthander Xzavion Curry hasn’t pitched in a month. The good news is that Georgia Tech didn’t get drawn with any premium pitching staffs, so its offense could well carry it to a super regional.

No. 2 Auburn (33-25)

BA 500 Prospects: SS Will Holland (72), RHP Davis Daniel (154), INF Eduoard Julien (203)

Season In A Sentence: The Tigers fought through injuries to starting pitchers Tanner Burns, Davis Daniel and lefthander Jack Owen to finish 33-25 and secure a regional bid for the third season in a row under Butch Thompson.

Best Pitcher: RHP Tanner Burns, So. — Burns has the potential to be a top-10 pick in next year’s draft and when he’s been healthy this year, he’s been electric. After missing a few weeks, he’s back in action and brings premium stuff to the Atlanta Regional.

Best Hitter: 3B Edouard Julien, So. — Julien was a Freshman All-American last year and has had an up-and-down sophomore season. But when he’s right, he has the ability to change the game offensively. He’s hitting .236/.367/.428 with eight home runs, and he’s drawn a team-high 39 walks.

Outlook: Much like the Yellow Jackets, the Tigers are thin on the mound. They’ve been without Daniel nearly all season, but both Burns and Owen are ready to go this weekend. Their offense hasn’t clicked in the same way it did last season, so if they’re going to go on the road to win a regional hosted by an ACC team for the second year in a row, they’ll need their mainstays on the mound to step up.

No. 3 Coastal Carolina (35-24-1)

BA 500 Prospects: 1B Zach Biermann (422)

Season In A Sentence: Coastal Carolina was not going to get into a regional in 2019, right up until it won the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, which also helped push its overall record to 35-24, extending its streak of 35-win seasons to five straight.

Best Pitcher: LHP Anthony Veneziano, Jr. — In 74 innings pitched for the Chanticleers, Veneziano is 5-2, 4.60 ERA with 80 strikeouts and 28 walks. Coastal Carolina has a younger pitching staff, but Veneziano brings some experience to the group.

Best Hitter: OF Jake Wright, R-So. — Voted Sun Belt newcomer of the year, Wright is the Chanticleers’ leading hitter at .358/.519/.601 with 10 home runs. He was even better against Sun Belt competition, as he hit .396 in conference play.

Outlook: The Chanticleers have been up and down all season, but they have big talent and are coming in hot, having won five straight elimination games in the Sun Belt Tournament to win the event. They are an offensive bunch and rank eighth in the nation in scoring (8.4 runs per game), but they are young on the mound. If its precocious arms step up, Coastal Carolina is a legitimate Omaha dark horse again this year.

No. 4 Florida A&M (27-32)

BA 500 Prospects: None

Season In A Sentence: The Rattlers finished under .500 at 27-32 but went 14-10 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play and captured the automatic bid by winning the conference tournament title, giving the program their second regional appearance in five years under head coach Jamey Shouppe.

Best Pitcher: SP Kyle Coleman, Jr. — Coleman leads the Rattlers with 77 strikeouts in 94 innings pitched allowing 33 walks. He’s been FAMU’s workhorse this year and will be called upon to lead it this weekend.

Best Hitter: IF Octavien Moyer, Jr. — Moyer is the Rattler’s leading hitter, batting .312/.417/.459 with six home runs. He knows how to get on base too, as he has 20 walks and 23 hit by pitches. 

Outlook: The Rattlers won four straight games in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament to come through the losers’ bracket and win the event. They’ll need that same grit and a solid showing from their offense in order to keep pace on The Flats.

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