May 21, 2012
ATLANTA – Georgia Tech’s Buck Farmer and Brandon Thomas have been named First Team All-Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2012 season, as Commissioner John Swofford announced the baseball all-conference team on Monday. Farmer’s selection marks the fifth straight season that a Yellow Jacket pitcher has earned All-Conference mention.
Farmer and Thomas joined senior first baseman Jake Davies and sophomore right-fielder Daniel Palka, who were named to the Second Team. Only No. 1 Florida State (five) had more 2012 all-conference selections than Tech.
The ace of Tech’s staff, Farmer is 7-3 this season with a 3.36 ERA in 93 2/3 innings. The junior from Conyers, Ga. is third in the ACC with 104 strikeouts, while his 9.99 strikeouts per game ranks fourth. Farmer owns the only complete-game shutout thrown in the ACC this season as he allowed just three hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts to beat Duke, 1-0, on March 31. The righty earned ACC Pitcher of the Week for his efforts versus the Blue Devils. Farmer worked seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits in an 11-4 win at No. 6 North Carolina on April 20, and gave up just two hits and one run with eight strikeouts in a 5-4 loss to No. 21 Miami on May 17. Wednesday’s starting pitcher in the ACC Tournament opener versus No. 1 Florida State, Farmer was brilliant versus the Seminoles at Russ Chandler Stadium on April 6, tossing eight innings, allowing five hits and one run with eight strikeouts, but picked up the no-decision in 2-1 loss in extra innings. Farmer was a Second Team All-ACC pick in 2011.
Thomas has been clutch all season for the Yellow Jackets, and the junior from Atlanta is leading the team with his .359 average and is among the nation’s top positional pro prospects. Thomas is among the ACC leaders in number of categories, including on-base percentage (.471, second), average (.359, fifth) and triples (five, sixth). The junior has had a flare for the dramatic this season, with two of his four game-winning RBI coming in late innings. His RBI double versus Duke in the eighth with two outs was the game-winner as Farmer pitched a complete-game, three-hit, 1-0 shutout. He ripped an eighth-inning RBI single at No. 6 North Carolina that broke a 2-2 tie en route to Tech’s 4-2 win. Thomas also had another RBI double in the ninth inning versus Florida State on April 6, which tied the game at 1-1 and forced extra innings (Tech lost 2-1 in 10 innings). He returned from a seven-game absence (hamstring) against Miami this past weekend and homered Thursday night to extend his reached-base streak to 48 consecutive games dating back to last season. Thomas saw that incredible streak snapped with an 0-for-5 on Friday.
Palka is putting up some of the best power numbers in the ACC, and leads the Jackets in both doubles (18), home runs (12) and slugging (.585). He’s sixth in the ACC in two-baggers, fourth in homers and sixth in slugging. The sophomore from Lyman, S.C. has also authored some late-game magic. In the series-opener versus Clemson, Palka’s two-run double during a three-run ninth inning allowed Tech to rally for the tie, and his solo home run to lead off the 13th inning was a walk-off game winner. He had another walk-off hit – the third of his career — in the series finale versus Charlotte, as his two-out RBI single in the 11th was the difference in a 6-5 win. Palka came up clutch again this past weekend with his sixth-inning home run proving to be the difference in the regular-season finale, as Tech beat No. 21 Miami, 2-1, to clinch an ACC Tournament spot. Four of his five game-winning RBI this season have come in the last 30 days of the season.
Davies is bringing his final season on the Flats to a close in style, leading the ACC with 58 RBI, was the ACC Player of the Week earlier this season, and was selected to the All-ACC Second Team for the second straight year. Davies is hitting .324 (14th in the ACC) and his nine home runs this season are a career high — six of them have come within the last four weeks. The McDonough, Ga. native is one of the toughest outs in the league, striking out a team-low 19 times (23 walks) in 207 at bats this season, after racked up 48 strikeouts last season. On the national watch list for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, the lefty has also made three-consecutive weekend starts on the mound and nine others in relief.
Florida State senior outfielder James Ramsey was selected the Player of the Year, NC State freshman pitcher Carlos Rodon earned both Pitcher and Rookie of the Year honors and Florida’s State Mike Martin was named Coach of the Year.
The all-conference team is selected by the league’s head coaches.