Fans of Georgia, Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern won't have far to travel this weekend. The Bulldogs, Yellow Jackets and Eagles will be in Athens, Ga., for the regionals of the NCAA baseball tournament.Georgia, a No. 1 seed playing host to its first regional ever and the sixth seed overall, will play No. 4 seed Georgia Southern on Friday at 7 p.m. at Foley Field, one of 16 host sites for the double-elimination regionals. Georgia Tech, a No. 2 seed, will play No. 3 seed Coastal Carolina on Friday at 1 p.m., and the regionals will continue Saturday and Sunday.
"I figured we would get an ACC team as a No. 2 seed here, but I wasn't sure if it was going to be Tech or Wake (Forest)," said Georgia coach Ron Polk. "Perhaps the committee thought they'd help us out and make sure we got some good crowds."
Said Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall: "It's great for baseball in our state to see three of the four teams in that regional from the state of Georgia. The whole focus in our state is going to be on college baseball."
Columbia also will be the site of an in-state matchup. Second-seed South Carolina will play No. 3 seed The Citadel on Friday night at Sarge Frye Field (7 p.m.). Top seed Central Florida will play No. 4 seed Princeton at 2 p.m.
Clemson, playing host to its eighth regional, was named the No. 2 seed and will play No. 3 seed William & Mary on Friday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium (7 p.m.). Top seed South Alabama will play No. 2 seed Seton Hall on Friday at 2 p.m.
The Gamecocks are playing host to a regional for the second straight year and the eighth time overall. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks were two of eight representatives from the Southeastern Conference, a tournament high. The ACC has four teams in the field.
The 16 regional champions advance to the Super Regionals, where they are matched with a single opponent in a best-of-three series. The eight winners play in the College World Series on June 8-16 in Omaha, Neb.
Georgia (41-18) is coming off a disappointing appearance last weekend's SEC Tournament. The Diamond Dogs were the top seed after winning the regular-season conference title but lost two of three games in Hoover, Ala.
Clemson (38-20) lost two of three at the ACC Tournament, including Saturday's 5-4 loss to Florida State. Georgia Tech (42-18) lost to N.C. State on Saturday in the semifinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament, and South Carolina (44-17) fell one game short of the SEC title game in losing to Mississippi State.
"We're excited about hosting the regional and know we have our work cut out for us," said Gamecocks coach Ray Tanner. "My first reaction to the regional is that it should feature some outstanding pitching. It looks as if pitching could be the key to advancing."