ATHENS – The postseason is here for a revamped Georgia baseball team hungry to raise more eyebrows in Year One under coach Wes Johnson.

Tournament play technically starts at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday in the SEC tournament, but Johnson is keeping the team’s bigger picture in mind.

Johnson will lead the No. 6 seed Bulldogs (39-14, 17-13 SEC) into the Hoover Metropolitan Complex hungry to attack No. 11 seed LSU (TV: SEC Network), who he helped coach to a national championship last season.

A strong run in the conference tournament could help UGA solidify a top-eight (national) seed in the NCAA tournament. The Bulldogs hold the No. 6 RPI and are a projected No. 8 seed per D1Baseball.

But the veteran SEC coach, like a certain colleague in Athens, plans to keep the main thing the main thing. Johnson spoke about the importance of keeping his team – particularly his pitching staff – protected from exerting itself so much that it’s still recovering when the NCAA tournament starts next weekend.

“(With) the SEC tournament, you have to be careful,” Johnson said. “You can catch yourself stretching guys too far, and then you get back in, and we’re just so tired and beat up the next week, and you can kind of feel that effect.”

After all, the Bulldogs have already won 17 SEC games, effectively securing a first-round regional in Athens.

Georgia, unlike five other 13-win teams playing on Tuesday, isn’t desperately scrapping for a last-minute NCAA tournament spot.

“If you’re in a position where you don’t have to win those games, you’ve got to be careful on how fast you do reset your pitching based on what you’ve got the next week,” Johnson said. “We’re going to be in a regional somewhere, (and) you want to make sure that you’re putting yourself in the best position to be competitive in Game One of that whenever and wherever that is.”

Johnson has made College World Series runs with two other SEC teams: Arkansas in 2018 and LSU in 2023. Neither team even made the championship game in the SEC tournament.

LSU was eliminated in the second round of the conference tournament before beating conference foes Kentucky, Tennessee and Florida to clinch the national title.

Johnson won’t have any reason to limit his elite offense, which could be challenged by a rolling LSU pitching staff on Tuesday. The Tigers have allowed just under five runs per game over their last nine SEC games, which included two wins over No. 4 Texas A&M and a sweep of Ole Miss last weekend.

LSU will also attack with one of the country’s top power hitters, Tommy White. The junior is coming off a three-homer weekend that included a back-breaking grand slam against the Rebels.

Georgia’s offense has averaged almost 11 runs over its last nine games, led by 2024 SEC Player of the Year Charlie Condon.

‘The Captain,’ as teammates call Condon, says Georgia’s offense is itching to dominate its first taste of postseason play.

“It’s just being ready for the first pitch and playing our best brand of baseball from there,” Condon said. “We’re definitely not laying over and giving up by any means. We’re going to go over there and attack anybody we get matched up with and make a run.”

Georgia and LSU will play in a single-elimination game, the winner advancing to face No. 3 seed Kentucky in double-elimination play at 10:30 a.m on Wednesday.