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Georgia earns national seed, opponents for Athens Regional revealed

Palmber-Thombsby:Palmer Thombs05/27/24

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ATHENS, Ga. — The road to Omaha is on for Georgia Baseball. Wes Johnson’s Bulldogs were announced as the No. 7 national seed in the NCAA Tournament on Monday, set to host Army in the opening round of the Athens Regional. Joining Georgia and Army, and rounding out the group of four in the Classic City, are UNC-Wilmington and Georgia Tech. The Seahawks and Yellow Jackets will match up in the 2-3 game of the double-elimination format set to start on Friday at Foley Field.

Should Georgia advance, the Bulldogs would play the winner of the Raleigh Regional with host NC State seed No 10 nationally. Other teams in the regional are South Carolina, James Madison and Bryant. That best-of-three series would also take place in Athens.

Georgia last made the NCAA Tournament in 2022, being forced to hit the road to Chapel Hill for a regional at North Carolina. The Bulldogs went 1-2 and were out before the regional final. Last time Georgia hosted came in 2019 as the No. 4 national seed. UGA failed to advanced out of the regional there too, falling to Florida State in the regional final. It marked the second straight season the Bulldogs were a top-8 national seed and fell to an ACC opponent in an Athens Regional final, doing so against Duke the year before.

You’ve got to go back to 2008 to find the last time Georgia advanced out of a regional, and it was the first step of a special run for the Bulldogs. Despite dropping the opener of the regional to fourth-seeded Lipscomb, Georgia managed to make it out of Athens by beating in-state rival Georgia Tech twice in a regional final. UGA would beat NC State in the super regionals, also held in Athens, before handling business against Miami (Fla.) and Stanford in the College World Series before falling to cinderella Fresno State in the finals.

This year, the Bulldogs finished the 2024 regular season, their first under the direction of head coach Wes Johnson, with a 39-14 record including a 17-13 mark in the SEC. It’s the most wins by a Georgia squad since 2019 and the best season by a first-year head coach in program history. Also, Johnson becomes just the second Georgia baseball coach to take his first team to the NCAA Tournament, joining David Perno who did so in 2002.

Three Bulldogs were recognized by the SEC with all-conference honors including potential National Player of the Year Charlie Condon as a first-team All-SEC selection and the SEC Player of the Year. Condon entered conference tournaments leading the NCAA in batting average (.451), home runs (35), slugging percentage (1.063) and total bases (219) while also being second in hits (93) and third in on base percentage (.567). The former walk-on from Marietta has broken Georgia’s single-season and career home run records, both previously held by 2008 first-rounder Gordon Beckham. Condon is projected to be a top-5 pick in this year’s MLB Draft.

UGA NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

NCAA Tournament Appearances (16): 1953, 1954, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2018, 2019, 2022, 2024
NCAA Regional Host (7): 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2018, 2019, 2024
NCAA Regional Champions (6): 1987 (Northeast Regional – Atlanta, Ga.), 1990 (Northeast Regional – Waterbury, CT), 2001 (Athens), 2004 (Athens), 2006 (Athens), 2008 (Athens)
College World Series Appearances (6): 1987, 1990, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2008
College World Series Runner-Up (1): 2008
NCAA Tournament Champions (1): 1990

A complete schedule for the Athens Regional will be available this afternoon. Tickets will go on sale starting Thursday at  https://georgiadogs.evenue.net/list/BBS, or by phone (706-542-1231 or 877-542-1231) or in the UGA Ticket Office located in the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall.

*All-Session Reserved Seats: $75
*All-Session General Admission Seats: $50
*Single Game Reserved: $15
*Single Game General Admission: $10
*College Students: $5

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