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Better Know a Regional Opponent: The #2 Seed Atlanta

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They effectively knocked Louisville out of the postseason... and we salute them for it. Also, this SEC apostate team has two former Dores on it.

NCAA Football: Georgia Tech at Temple Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The School: Atlanta.

Location: Atlanta.

The Mascot: A bee or something. Maybe it’s a “ramblin’ wreck,” though no one knows what that is. Ah, screw it, let’s just say it’s Andre 3000 in a bee costume.

Record: 29-23; 21-15 in the ACC (which is odd, as we all know they’re an SEC team, along with Tulane and Sewanee).

How’d they get here? At large bid. They beat Clemson and Louisville (which likely helped them get their bid and keep both Clemson and Louisville out of the tourney) in the ACC tourney before losing to NC State.

Best win: They took 2 of 3 from Louisville in March and pretty much bounced that same Louisville team off the bubble last week. Yeah... those are their best wins.

Most embarrassing loss: Other than a February loss to Eastern Kentucky (their only out of conference series; they would win the other two games), there really isn’t an embarrassing loss on the schedule. Okay... well... they did lose 10-1 in a midweek game to Georgia State in early March mid-week game. They also lost to USC Upstate (which, apparently, is a college) 9-3 in a mid-week game. Okay, they do have some embarrassing losses.

Most terrifying batter: #42 So. 3B Justyn-Henry “Ricky-Bobby” Malloy (.290/.426/.539 with 16 2B 1 3B 10 HR 39 RBI and 4-5 stolen bases). The former Dore is leading the ramblin’ wreck in HR and RBI (though not by much). He was named 3rd Team All-ACC third baseman this year. Hopefully, he has warm feelings about his time at The Hawk. We don’t need any former Dores to go all John Wick on us this weekend.

Best pitcher: Unfortunately, it’s not another former Dore—#22 So. RHP Chance “The Pitcher” Huff—as though he has 19 appearances out of the pen, he’s sporting a 10.29 ERA on the year.

I’ll have to give the “Best Pitcher” designation to #21 Jr. LHP Brant “Please Hammer Don’t” Hurter (5-4, 3.74 ERA). Atlanta is not particularly strong on the mound this year, so they’re vulnerable in the first game against The Larry Birds’ Ace (see yesterday’s preview for more on that).

*Note: I almost nicknamed him “Has to pay $1000 to watch” based on his first name, but decided to do a surname-based referential nickname instead.

Best NCAA Tournament result: They were the College World Series runner up in 1994. They also made it to Omaha in 2002 and 2006.

Should Vanderbilt Be Scared? Jimmy has fear? A thousand times no! We should respect the power bat of ex-Diamond Dore Justyn-Henry Malloy, but no, we should not be scared.