March 9, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. – No. 10 Georgia Tech busted a 3-2 game open with 11 unanswered runs over the middle three innings and cruised to a 14-6 win over NC State Friday in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams at Doak Field in Raleigh, N.C.
The Yellow Jackets (11-3), who won for the 15th time on ACC opening day in the 19 seasons under head coach Danny Hall, pounded out 14 hits and led 14-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh. Sophomore CF Kyle Wren paced the attack, going 3-for-3, with a double, a steal, two walks and matched his career-high with four runs.
“Kyle had a big hit early on to give us some distance, Zane had a big one up the middle as well and I thought Buck settled in and did his job as he usually does” said Hall, who is just two wins shy of winning his 1,000th career game. “That’s a good way to start the ACC season.”
Junior Buck Farmer allowed just two runs (one earned) over six innings with six strikeouts to pick up his third-straight win (3-1). The righty allowed a solo shot with two outs in the first inning, and then saw a two-out error in the infield allow another run to score in the third.
The Yellow Jackets pounced early, knocking State (9-3) starter Anthony Tzamtzis out after just five outs. He was touched for three runs (one earned) with three hits and four walks in his brief appearance and was dealt the loss (1-1).
Evans scored Wren, who led off the game with a walk, for a 1-0 lead in the first and the Jackets regained a 3-1 lead in the second thanks to a two-run single from Wren.
“When he (Wren) gets on, we usually score a lot of runs,” said Hall. “He puts a lot of pressure on people.”
Tech, which has been an explosive early-game team all season, blew the 3-2 game open in the fourth thanks to four runs on four hits. Daniel Palka, Evans and Jake Davies had RBI for the Yellow Jackets, who have outscored the opposition 65-24 in the first four innings this season.
Evans ripped a two-run single up the middle and Paul Kronenfeld hit a solo home run to center field as part of a four-run fifth inning, and Brandon Thomas’ two-run double down the right-field line came during a three-run sixth inning.
With Farmer in the dugout after another strong start and leading 14-2, State pushed across four runs in the seventh inning. But sophomore reliever Alex Cruz restored order, with an efficient final two frames with two strikeouts, to close it out.
The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m. in a game that can be seen live on ESPN3.