April 12, 2013
THE FLATS – Senior Buck Farmer gave No. 19 Georgia Tech his second-consecutive complete game, this time in a winning effort, and the Yellow Jackets edged No. 5 Virginia, 2-1, Friday night in the 800th all-time win at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Zane Evans had two hits, and his RBI single in the sixth inning broke a 1-1 tie and would stand as the game-winner for Tech, which improved to 25-9 overall and 10-6 in ACC play. The Cavaliers dropped their third-straight in the series to the Jackets and slipped to 30-5, 12-4.
Evans and the Jackets also came up with some defensive gems in support of Farmer, as Tech’s junior catcher and Johnny Bench Award candidate threw out a pair of would-be base-stealers, left fielder Kyle Wren gunned down the tying run at the plate in the seventh inning and Tech turned two double plays.
“It seems like every time we play these guys it’s a one- or two-run game so we knew it would be a battle,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Both sides pitched very well and Buck had an outstanding game. We made a couple of pretty good plays behind him and we got a big two-out hit from Zane to get us the lead.”
Wren, Evans and A.J. Murray each had two of the seven hits, and Wren scored both of Tech’s runs.
Evans, who also delivered the game-winning RBI in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s win at Georgia, laced a two-out single to center to score Wren, who reached on a lead-off bunt single and was moved to scoring position on Sam Dove’s sacrifice bunt.
The combo of Wren and Dove put the Jackets on the board in the first inning as Wren led off by smoking his fourth triple this season and the 17th of his career to the wall in right-center field. Dove promptly plated him with a sacrifice fly to left. Tech is now 16-1 when scoring first and 12-2 when scoring in the first inning.
Farmer improved to 7-1 this season, and 10-1 in his career versus Coastal Division teams, by fanning 10 Cavaliers in nine innings and allowing just one run and one walk. He scattered 10 hits – eight singles and two doubles.
An RBI grounder from Brandon Cogswell put Virginia on the board in the third inning after Reed Gragnani doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch.
Farmer rolled a 4-6-3 double play to dodge trouble after a lead-off single in the fourth and Evans threw out Nick Howard trying to steal after a one-out single in the fifth inning. In the seventh, a lead-off single from Derek Fisher and his stolen base set the Cavaliers up for the tie, and it appeared they had when Howard singled to left. But Wren came up throwing and fired a strike to plate to cut down Fisher and preserve the 2-1 lead.
Virginia threatened again in the eighth when Cogswell singled. After Farmer fanned Jared King for the second out, Evans ended the inning by gunning down Cogswell trying to swipe second. In the ninth, Joe McCarthy ripped a lead-off single to right, but a 3-6 double play from Mike Papi in the next at-bat quickly extinguished the threat.
“Every time I go out to pitch, it’s great to have a defense like that behind me,” said Farmer, who improved to 3-0 in his career versus Virginia. “They really showed some maturity tonight in some of the situations they were put in.”
Farmer was on the losing end of an eight-inning complete game at Duke last weekend in a 2-0 setback, but bounced back Friday by firing 114 pitches (83 strikes) in his fifth career complete game.
The series continues Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. It’s the ACC’s Game of the Week and will be televised on the regional sports networks, including Fox Sports South. The game can also be seen on ESPN3.