Feb. 17, 2013
Overall Record: 3-0
ACC Record: 0-0
Winning/Losing Streak: W3
Past Week: 3-0
2/15: W, 3-0 vs. Akron … Senior righty Buck Farmer fans 14 in eight innings to lead shutout of Zips on Opening Day
2/16: W, 10-3 vs. Akron… Junior Daniel Palka goes 4-for-4 with 3 RBI and home run in Saturday rout
2/17: W, 5-3 vs. Akron… Freshman Matt Gonzalez drives in go-ahead RBI to lead Tech to sweep
2/19: vs. Georgia State, 4 p.m. – Russ Chandler Stadium
2/22: vs. St. John’s, 4 p.m. – Russ Chandler Stadium (ESPN3)
2/23: vs. St. John’s, 2 p.m. – Russ Chandler Stadium (ESPN3)
2/24: vs. St. John’s 1 p.m. – Russ Chandler Stadium
FARMER SETS CAREER HIGH WITH 14 Ks: Senior preseason All-America Buck Farmer set a career high with 14 strikeouts in eight dominant innings, leading the No. 21 Yellow Jackets to a 3-0 shutout victory over Akron on Opening Day in Atlanta. The senior walked none and scattered four singles in improving his career record to 25-8 with his fourth career combined shutout. Just one batter advanced past first in the game – that coming with two outs in the fifth inning – and there were never multiple runners on base in the game. Of Farmer’s 97 pitches, 77 were strikes. His 14 strikeouts moved him from 13th to eighth on the Jackets’ all-time strikeouts list, now with 279.
MOUND PRESENCE: In three games this weekend, Georgia Tech pitchers struck out 35 and walked 6. Of the 18 hits allowed, only three went for extra bases. Akron hitters were 18-for-94 (.191) at the plate, as the Jackets out-scored the Zips 18-6.
THE ROOKIE IMPRESSES: Freshman Matt Gonzalez made an immediate impact on a team full of veterans, leading the Jackets with a .556 average (5-for-9) and driving in four runs during a three-game sweep of Akron. Gonzalez had at least a hit and an RBI in every game, including the game-winning RBI in Sunday’s 5-3 victory to complete the sweep. On Friday, his RBI double capped the scoring in a 3-0 win on Opening Day. Saturday, he went 3-for-3 with an RBI, a run, a walk and two steals. Sunday, the rookie went 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI, and his sac fly gave the Jackets the lead for good in the fourth. He also aided in two of Tech’s three double plays while starting at second base on Saturday and Sunday.
SO DID ANOTHER ROOKIE: Freshman LHP Jonathan King nailed down a save in his college debut, working a hitless ninth inning with two strikeouts in the 3-0 win. He was back on the mound Sunday in another tight game and fired scoreless frames in the seventh and eighth to keep Tech’s 5-2 lead in check.
PALKA POUNDS: Junior preseason All-America Daniel Palka went 4-for-4 Saturday with 3 RBI and a monster home run, and followed that Sunday with a 2-hit, 2-run effort as Tech completed the sweep. Palka’s homer was the 25th of his career – he is Tech’s active career leader. His six hits led the Jackets this weekend as did his .909 slugging percentage.
100 RBI MILESTONE: Both Daniel Palka and junior catcher Zane Evans achieved the 100-career-RBI milestone this weekend. Palka now has 103, following his four-RBI effort, while Evans sits at 100 thanks to three RBI versus the Zips. Senior Brandon Thomas currently has 86, and should he reach 100, it’d mark the first time at Tech since 2006 that three active players had 100+ career RBI during the same season.
OPENING WEEKEND NOTES: Tech won on Opening Day for 15th time in 20 years under head coach Danny Hall… Friday’s 3-0 shutout also marked the Jackets’ fourth season-opening shutout win in the last six years… Tech’s sweep of Akron was its first sweep on opening weekend since 2010.