Coach: Scott Stricklin
Last season: 21-32, 7-20 SEC (last)
Key fact: Stricklin comes to Georgia from Kent State and succeeds David Perno, who was fired after 12 seasons as head coach. The Bulldogs return seven starting position players and 12 pitchers from last season.
Players to watch: Junior Jared Walsh doubles as a first baseman and designated hitter (.297, 26 RBIs) as well as a left-handed pitcher (2-4, 3.35 ERA). … Junior OF Hunter Cole (.303, 33 RBIs) started all 53 games last year while playing all three outfield positions and third base. … Sophomore right-hander Sean McLaughlin (5-6, 3.28) will be the opening-day starter for the second consecutive season.
Among friends: The SEC appears to be loaded again. Eight conference teams were included in Baseball America’s preseason Top 25 rankings, including South Carolina (7), Mississippi State (8), LSU (9), Vanderbilt (10), Alabama (21), Florida (23), Texas A&M (24) and Arkansas (25).
February: 15-16, vs. Georgia Southern; 18, vs. Kennesaw State; 21-23, at Florida State; 25, vs. Furman; 26, vs. Georgia State; 28, vs. Binghamton
March: 1-2, vs. Binghamton; 4, vs. Georgia Tech; 5, vs. Charleston Southern; 7, vs. Buffalo; 8, vs. North Florida; 9, vs. Western Carolina; 11-12, vs. Western Kentucky; 14-16, vs. Miss. State; 18, vs. Presbyterian; 21-23, at LSU; 25, vs. Clemson; 28-30, vs. Texas A&M
April: 4-6, at Missouri; 8, at Clemson; 10-12, vs. Tennessee; 15, at Georgia Tech; 18-20, at Florida; 22, vs. Kennesaw State (Coolray Field); 25-27, at Vanderbilt
May: 2-4, vs. South Carolina; 7, vs. Savannah State; 9-11, at Ole Miss; 13, vs. Georgia Tech (Turner Field); 15-17, vs. Kentucky
Coach: Greg Frady
Last season: 35-21, 14-13 CAA (T-fifth)
Key fact: GSU returns the majority of the lineup that ranked in the top five nationally in batting average (.321) and runs per game (7.9) and helped produce the third-highest victory total in school history
Players to watch: Shortstop Chad Prain (.394) and outfielder Chase Raffield (.382), each an honorable-mention All-American.
Among friends: Georgia State’s move to the Sun Belt Conference actually is a return. Georgia State was a founding member of the Sun Belt in 1976, and the Panthers’ baseball program competed in the league from 1979-81.
February: 14-16, vs. Illinois; 18, at Savannah State; 21-23, at Ole Miss; 26, at Georgia; 28, vs. Northern Kentucky
March: 1-2, vs. Northern Kentucky; 4, at Kennesaw State; 7-9, Xavier; 11-12, vs. Siena; 14-16, vs. Western Kentucky; 19, vs. Georgia Tech; 21-23, at Louisiana-Lafayette; 25-26, vs. Alabama A&M; 28-30, vs. Troy
April: 2, at Georgia Tech; 4-6, at Arkansas-Little Rock; 9, vs. Mercer; 11-13, vs. Texas-Arlington; 15, vs. Kennesaw State; 18-20, at Texas State; 23, vs. Savannah State; 25-27, vs. Arkansas State
May: 2-4, vs. South Alabama; 7, vs. Kennesaw State; 9-11, at Louisiana-Monroe; 13, at Mercer; 15-17, at Western Kentucky
Coach: Danny Hall
Last season: 37-27 (15-15, fourth in ACC Coastal Division)
Key fact: Tech’s first victory this season will be Hall’s 1,500th in his career.The Yellow Jackets lost two All-Americans (catcher Zane Evans and outfielder Daniel Palka) and four All-ACC players (pitcher Buck Farmer, outfielder Kyle Wren, Evans and Palka).
Players to watch: Third baseman Matt Gonzalez (.291), pitcher Jonathan King (4.04 ERA), first baseman A.J. Murray (.271).
Among friends: The ACC again will be a major player in the race to Omaha and the College World Series. Virginia opens as Baseball America’s preseason No. 1, followed by N.C. State (5), Florida State (6), Clemson (13), Miami (16) and North Carolina (17).
February: 14, vs. Old Dominion; 15, vs. Radford; 16, vs. VCU; 19, at Georgia Southern; 21-23, vs. North Carolina-Greensboro; 25, vs. Kennesaw State; 28, vs. Bowling Green
March: 1-2, vs. Bowling Green; 4, at Georgia; 7-9, vs. Wake Forest; 11, vs. Western Carolina; 14-16, vs. Miami; 18, at Kennesaw State; 19, at Georgia State; 21-23, at North Carolina; 25, vs. Mercer; 28-30, at Pitt
April: 2, vs. Georgia State; 4-6, vs. Duke; 8, vs. Georgia Southern; 9, vs. Savannah State; 11-13, vs. Florida State; 14, vs. Georgia; 18-20, at Maryland; 22, at Mercer; 25-27, at N.C. State
May: 2-4, vs. Virginia Tech; 6, vs. North Florida; 9-11, at Virginia; 13, vs. Georgia (Turner Field); 15-17, vs. South Florida