March 2, 2012
ATLANTA – Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas finished a combined 9-for-10 with six runs and three stolen bases, while Buck Farmer fanned nine in seven innings as No. 12 Georgia Tech pounded Rutgers, 16-2, Friday night in the series opener at Russ Chandler Stadium.
Thomas, hitting behind Wren in the lineup, was a career-best 5-for-5, had two doubles, two RBI and scored three times. Wren, the lead-off man, had four hits, scored three runs and swiped a pair of bases for Tech (8-2), who led 4-0 after the first inning, expanded the lead to 9-0 in the fifth, and never looked back.
“We swung the bat well, jumped on them pretty aggressively early,” said head coach Danny Hall, who needs five more wins for the 1,000th win in his career. “When those two guys (Wren and Thomas) get on, they can really run and it puts pressure on people and it makes the other team pay. It ends up giving Palka, Davies and Evans better pitches to hit.”
Junior Sam Dove’s three-run bomb to left field – his first college home run – gave the White & Gold that 4-0 lead, after Wren led off the game with a double, and scored on Thomas’ single.
Sophomore Daniel Palka went the opposite way for a two-run homer over the left-field wall, pushing Tech’s advantage to 7-0 in the fourth inning and extending his hitting streak to nine games. Mott Hyde homered and Thomas added another RBI single in the fifth inning.
Wren, Thomas and Palka have reached base safely in all nine game this season.
A home run by Rutgers’ Nick Favatella led off the sixth inning and cut Tech’s margin to 9-1, extending the second-baseman’s hitting streak to 18 games going back to last season. The visitors got one more in the seventh, but the Jackets sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the seventh and scored seven runs on six hits to extinguish any hope of a Scarlet Knight (3-4) comeback.
Junior preseason All-America Buck Farmer was in command for the third-straight time this season. The righty fanned nine batters in seven innings, scattered six hits and two runs and improved to 2-1. Farmer continues to lead the ACC, now with 31 strikeouts in 19.0 innings this season.
“I thought he threw the ball well and his fastball was much better located today,” said Hall.
Dove and Zane Evans each collected three hits as the Yellow Jackets knocked around six different pitchers for 23 hits. It was the most hits for Tech since a 25-hit performance in a 25-6 rout of Georgia on April 14, 2012 in Athens.
Rutgers starter Ryan Fasano worked 2.1 innings, allowed five runs on six hits and was hung the loss (0-1).
The series continues Saturday at Russ Chandler Stadium at 2 p.m.