April 6, 2012
ATLANTA – Brandon Thomas ripped a game-tying double in the ninth inning for No. 23 Georgia Tech, but No. 2 Florida State regained its lead in the 10th and won a thriller at Russ Chandler Stadium, 2-1, Friday night in the opener of a three-game series on the Flats.
The victory allowed the Seminoles to improve to 25-5 overall and up their ACC-leading league mark to 12-1, while the Yellow Jackets slipped to 19-12, 6-7. It was the first extra-inning game for Tech this season.
Junior Buck Farmer gave the Jackets another stellar start, as the reigning ACC Pitcher of the Week struck out eight and allowed just a run on five hits in eight innings of work. FSU starter Brandon Leibrandt was up to the task as well, working 7.1 innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits with four strikeouts.
“He (Farmer) was outstanding again,” said head coach Danny Hall. “He just lost the strike zone a bit in the second inning and Brizuela plugged one in the right spot out there in right center.”
The RBI single in the second for Jose Brizuela was the game’s lone run until Thomas, after ripping a game-winning double in the eighth inning to beat Duke last Saturday, came through again for the Jackets.
After Kyle Wren beat out an infield single with one out, Thomas smoked a 1-1 offering from closer Robert Benincasa into the right-field corner. His 12th double allowed Wren to race home from first and tie the game at 1-1 with one out in the bottom of the ninth.
Tech was unable to get Thomas home, and the Seminoles went right back to work in the 10th, all with two outs as Jayce Boyd reached for the fifth time with a single up the middle. Stephen McGee drew a walk and Justin Gonzalez put the visitors up for good with a single through the left side.
Benincasa, after blowing his first save in nine chances, picked up the win (2-0) by setting Tech down in order in the 10th. Cruz was hung the tough-luck loss (1-1).
“They (FSU) have a great team, and you have to give them credit,” said Hall. “They have a great defense and I said that before the weekend started. All those guys have played together for three years in the infield. They can make plays, and they can pitch.”
Boyd finished 3-for-3 for FSU with a pair of walks, while Brizuela was 2-for-4.
The series continues Saturday on Danny Hall 1,000 Night, as the Jackets will honor the 1,000th career for Coach Hall, which came earlier this season. Hall will be recognized in a pregame ceremony, there will be great prizes and giveaways, and one lucky fan will take home a prize pack valued at $1,000. The first 1,000 fans through the gate receive a Danny Hall T-shirt.
The pregame ceremony begins at approximately 5:45 p.m. Saturday with first pitch set for 6 p.m.