May 1, 2011
CLEMSON, S.C. – No. 18 Clemson (29-15, 13-11 ACC) scored a pair of 2-out runs in the fourth inning, and starter Justin Sarratt won a pitcher’s duel against ninth-ranked Georgia Tech’s (31-14, 18-6 ACC)Buck Farmer to give the Tigers a 3-1 win in the rubber match Sunday at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
The series loss was just the second of the season for the Yellow Jackets, who had won nine of their previous 10 heading into the weekend.
“It was disappointing to lose the series, but I thought we battled and competed,” head coach Danny Hall said. “I thought Buck pitched outstanding. He had a low pitch count and gave us every chance to win, but I was disappointed we didn’t hit a little better for him. The two-out hits for them were the difference.”
Farmer (7-2), who pitched an eight-inning complete game in the losing effort, had his seven game win streak snapped after allowing the three runs on just four hits. He retired the side in six of the eight innings, and retired the final 12 batters of the game.
The sophomore right-hander combined with Clemson’s Sarratt to allow just eight hits total.
Sarratt (5-1) got the better side of the duel, allowing just one run over 8 1/3 innings of his own for the win. He retired 14 straight of his own before issuing a walk with one out in the eighth.
“He [Sarratt] pitched really well. “He had three pitches he threw for strikes and he could throw them on every count. Tip the cap to him. He kept us off-balance, didn’t give us many base runners and when he did, he pitched out of trouble.”
Clemson struck first in the bottom of the first inning with a solo home run to left field by designated hitter Phil Pohl to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Jacob Esch’s RBI single through the right side in the fourth inning would even the score as junior Matt Skole scored from third base on the play. Skole singled to left field earlier in the inning before advancing to third on a fielding error by Clemson first baseman Richie Shaffer.
After allowing the early home run, Farmer went on to retire the next nine batters until issuing a leadoff walk to Brad Miller in the bottom half of the fourth.
Miller would score two outs later on a double down the right field by Jeff Schaus to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. Schaus’ grounder skimmed just past the glove of a diving Jake Davies at first base before getting stuck under the tarp in right field. Clemson’s Will Lamb singled up the middle on the next at-bat to add another run.
Tech had two chances to tie the game in the ninth inning against Clemson reliever Scott Weismann. The Jackets had runners on first and second and just one out, but Weismann got a called third strike on the corner to retire Paul Kronenfeld. After the right-hander hit Esch with an inside pitch to load the bases on the next at-bat, he struck out catcher Zane Evans looking to end the game. Weismann picked up his fourth save of the season and his second on the weekend.
The Jackets will take a week off for final exams, before traveling to Illinois-Chicago for a three-game series next Saturday through Monday. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m. Saturday, 2:05 p.m. Sunday and 1:05 p.m. Monday. Tech will then return for a midweek game the following Tuesday at 4 p.m. against Savannah State.