April 19, 2013
THE FLATS – Matt Gonzalez and A.J. Murray each hit home runs as No. 16 Georgia Tech and No. 17 NC State went back and forth early, but the Wolfpack pulled away for a 13-4 win Friday night in the ACC series-opener at Russ Chandler Stadium.
State improved to 30-10 overall and 12-7 in the ACC with its 12th-consecutive, while Tech slipped to 27-11, 11-8. The game was originally scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday but was delayed five hours by rain.
Murray’s two-run blast off the left-field netting gave the Jackets a 2-1 lead in the second inning, and Gonzalez followed in the third with a two-run shot to left that answered State’s four-run uprising in the top half of the inning.
But State continued to chip away at Tech starter Buck Farmer, who lasted just five innings – his shortest start in more than a calendar year. The senior would be dealt the loss (7-2) – his first home loss since Feb. 27, 2011 versus St. John’s and his first-ever home ACC setback.
Teran Senay’s three-run homer was the big blow for Farmer during the Pack’s four-run third. Senay finished the night 3-for-6 and drove in six of the Wolfpack’s 13 runs. Trea Turner also had three hits for the visitors.
The Jackets stranded 12 runners in the game, including six in scoring position. Tech went in order after the first two batters of the game reached on Kyle Wren’s lead-off walk and Sam Dove’s single up the middle. Tech let State starter Ryan Wilkins off the hook again in the second as two more were stranded following Murray’s fourth blast this season.
Wilkins was chased after Brandon Thomas doubled and Zane Evans reached on a catcher’s interference in the fifth, but reliever Anthony Tzamtzis would dodge the trouble after loading the bases with a one-out walk to Gonzalez – one of three free passes to the freshman.
Tzamtzis walked five Jackets in 3.1 innings of scoreless relief and was credited with the win (2-1). Wilkins was charged with seven hits and four runs but did not factor in the decision.
Murray finished the night 2-for-5, while Gonzalez scored twice. Wren increased his hitting streak to six games with a 1-for-3 effort and two walks.
The series continues Saturday on the Flats as Tech junior Dusty Isaacs squares off against Pack lefty Carlos Rodon. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN3.