MINNEAPOLIS – Heading into the 2018 season, GopherSports.com will take a look at each of the Gopher Baseball program’s 2018 foes. This week, we look at opening weekend and a four-game, three-day trip to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, and Georgia State.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets Website | @GTBaseball
Georgia Tech posted a 27-28 record a season ago, including an 11-19 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference to finish fifth in the Coastal Division … head coach Danny Hall is in his 25th season in the dugout for Georgia Tech … senior infielder Wade Bailey earned a spot on the ABCA Atlantic Region First Team and Collegiate Baseball All-American honors during the 2017 campaign. He posted a team-best .347 average with 21 doubles, 63 runs scored, 38 RBIs, and six home runs … junior catcher Joey Bart returns after an ABCA Atlantic Region Second Team pick a season ago, driving in a team-high 43 runs while slugging 13 long balls despite missing time due to injury … sophomore infielder Austin Wilhite earned NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America honors in 2017, batting .338 on the year with 14 doubles and 36 runs scored … the Yellow Jackets saw three players selected in the MLB Draft a season ago, including pitcher Zac Ryan, who led Tech with a 3.33 ERA in 46.0 innings as a reliever last season … sophomore Xzavion Curry returns as the team’s top starting pitcher, posting a team-leading six wins and 5.23 ERA in 82.2 innings … Minnesota owns a 1-4 record all-time against Georgia Tech, but the teams have not met since the 1994 season.
Scouting the Owls Website | @KSUOwlsBaseball
Kennesaw State finished 25-32 during the 2017 campaign, landing in fifth place with a 10-11 record in Atlantic Sun Conference play … head coach Mike Sansing is in his 27th season minding the Owls, leading KSU through transition from NAIA to NCAA II to NCAA I … senior infielder Grant Williams landed on the ASUN All-Conference First Team and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year. The second baseman batted .305 with 68 hits and 29 RBIs in 2017 … senior Taylor Allum also earned a First Team All-ASUN pick a season ago, lifting 15 home runs and driving in 40 runs … four Owls were selected in the 2017 MLB Draft, including Second Team All-ASUN starting pitcher Tony Dibrell, who led the team with a 7-4 record and 2.45 ERA in 14 starts, including one shutout … senior AJ Moore returns the most experience on the mound for Kennesaw State, but posting a 6.13 ERA and 5-6 record in 72.0 innings a season ago … the doubleheader will mark the first two meetings in program history between the Gophers and Owls.
Scouting the Panthers Website | @GaStateBaseball
Georgia State closed out 2017 with a 22-33 record, finishing fifth in the Sun Belt Conference’s East Division at 10-20 … the 2018 season will mark year no. 12 for head coach Greg Frady, the winningest coach in Panthers program history … Georgia State did not place any players on the all-conference teams a season ago … junior catcher Nick Gatewood returns after posting a team-best .319 average in 51 games, slugging .482 while striking out just 25 times … senior shortstop Justin Jones started 52 games, knocking a team-leading 14 doubles while swiping six bags on the year … right-handed pitcher Bryce Conley became the latest Panther to be selected in the MLB draft, having made 13 starts for GSU … sophomore righty Hunter Gaddis returns having tossed a team-leading 75.0 innings in his rookie year, posting a 3.72 ERA and 4-4 record in 15 appearances (11 starts) … Minnesota owns a 3-2 record all-time against Georgia State, including a two-game series split in 2017 between the Gophers and Panthers.
Minnesota opens its season on the road February 16 at Georgia Tech in Atlanta. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m. ET.
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