April 5, 2013
DURHAM, N.C. – Buck Farmer gave No. 15 Georgia Tech a gem, but the offense left 10 runners on base, including six in scoring position, and fell to Duke, 2-0, Friday night at Jack Coombs Field in Durham, N.C. Kyle Wren extended his hitting streak to 19 games for Tech.
Farmer went eight innings, allowing six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts, but was on the hook for his first loss of the season (6-1), and his first setback to an ACC team since April 13, 2012 at Wake Forest.
Tech’s senior righty fired 89 pitches (71 for strikes) and his first 19 pitches of the game were strikes. He did not throw a pitch out of the zone until the third inning.
Duke starter Trent Swart was up to the task as well, and Friday night’s 2-0 pitchers’ duel was completed in a brisk two hours and six minutes. Swart, who worked himself around trouble all night, scattered seven hits in eight innings with one walk and six strikeouts to pick up the win (4-1).
Freshman Matt Gonzalez went 3-for-4 for the Jackets, who slipped to 22-8 overall and 8-5 in ACC play. Duke, which handed Tech its first shutout since last year’s opening-day 5-0 loss to Kent State, improved to 18-13, 7-6.
Tech put lead-off men on with singles in the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings off Swart, and in the ninth inning off closer Andrew Istler, but couldn’t bring them home.
In the eighth with Duke up 1-0, Wren extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a single up the middle, and Daniel Palka followed later with a one-out single to right. But Swart rolled a fielder’s choice and worked pop-up to crush the rally.
The Blue Devils tacked on insurance in the bottom half with three of the six hits off Farmer and Mark Lumpa’s RBI single scored Kenny Koplove for a 2-0 lead.
Tech rallied again in the ninth as Gonzalez singled to center to lead off the inning, and Thomas Smith followed with a one-out base knock to right. Istler, though, managed to get a strikeout and a ground out in the next two at-bats to slam the door on his seventh save.
Thomas was 2-for-4 tonight and is now 9-for-14 in his four-game career versus the Blue Devils.
The Blue Devils broke the scoreless tie in the fourth after a lead-off double from Jeff Kremer. Grant McCabe moved him over with a sacrifice bunt and Jordan Betts’ sacrifice fly brought home with what would stand as the game winner.
The series continues Saturday at 1 p.m. in Durham.