May 15, 2011
ATLANTA –– Sophomore Buck Farmer tossed eight shutouts innings to lead the ninth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team to a 3-0 win and a series victory over North Carolina, also ranked as high as No. 9, Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. The win gave head Coach Danny Hall is 300th-career Atlantic Coast Conference victory.
Sunday’s win provided Georgia Tech (37-16, 20-7 ACC) with a huge series victory over North Carolina (40-12, 17-10 ACC) after the Jackets had fallen in the opener on Friday before a ninth-inning comeback victory on Saturday. It was the seventh shutout this season recorded by the Tech pitching staff, one shy of tying a school record. It was also just the first time all year that the Tar Heels had been blanked.
“It was big,” said Hall of the momentum Saturday’s comeback victory gave the team heading into Sunday. “It totally flipped. We were dead in the water going into the ninth inning last night and it looked like we were going to lose the series, and then five runs later in the ninth we walk out of here with a chance to win. Buck Farmer was outstanding today, he can’t throw it better than he threw it and Luke [Bard] came in and did a great job in the ninth.”
Farmer (9-2) allowed just four hits to the Tar Heels in his eight innings of work, allowing just one runner to advance past second base. The Conyers, Ga. native had seven strikeouts on the day, including one to end the third, fourth, sixth and eighth innings.
His strikeout of Chaz Frank in the eighth inning stranded two runners on base before giving way to the bullpen in the ninth. Sophomore Luke Bard, brother of former North Carolina All-America pitcher Daniel Bard, recorded his seventh save of the season after forcing UNC’s Levi Michael to foul out with two outs in the ninth.
The Jackets used a three-run fifth inning to give Farmer all of the offensive support he needed. Freshman Kyle Wren’s RBI double to centerfield off of North Carolina starter Chris Munnelly scored catcher Zane Evans for the game’s first run, before junior Jacob Esch and freshman Mott Hyde added two more on RBI singles later in the inning.
Junior Jake Davies went 3-for-3 to pace the team at the plate, while Wren chipped in with a 2-for-4 performance.
Munnelly (5-4) was credited with the loss after allowing the three runs on four hits over 4 1/3 innings.
Danny Hall became just the fourth all-time ACC head coach to reach the 300 conference win mark. He joins former Clemson coach Bill Wilhelm (378), current Florida State coach Mike Martin (360) and current Clemson coach Jack Leggett (302) as the only coaches with 300 ACC victories.
“A lot of people contributed to it,” said Hall of his 300th ACC victory. “Certainly a lot of good coaches have been in here with me, and we have had a lot of great players. It’s a number, but not many coaches in our league have that number, so I’ll take some pride in it. “
The Jackets will return to action on Tuesday, hosting East Tennessee State for a midweek game beginning at 6 p.m. at Russ Chandler Stadium.