May 21, 2010
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The sixth-ranked Georgia Tech baseball team (44-10, 21-8 ACC) used sacrifice flies in the seventh and eighth innings, and a strong outing from the bullpen to seal a 7-5 series clinching victory of Boston College (28-26, 13-16 ACC) Friday afternoon at Commander Shea Field. The series concludes with a 12:30 p.m. start Saturday.
“I thought our situational hitting was good when it needed to be,” head coach Danny Hall said. “We didn’t get a lot of hits, partly because the wind was blowing so hard straight in, but we did the little things that I thought we needed to in order to score.”
The Jackets moved within half a game behind Atlantic Coast Conference Coastal division leader Virginia (21-7), who plays at Miami Friday evening in Coral Gables, Fla.
“Winning the series was big, and depending on what happens in Miami later tonight, we have a chance to play for first place in the conference tomorrow,” Hall added.
With strong winds blowing directly in that reached up to 15 miles per hour, Tech resorted to the small ball in the second game of the series, needing just six hits to bring in the seven runs. The Jackets drove in three of the runs on sacrifice flies, including the two differential tallies by Jacob Esch and Thomas Nichols in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
The Tech bullpen solid in relief of starter Mark Pope Friday, combining to hold the Eagles to one run on three hits in the final 4 2/3 innings. The Jackets are a perfect 12-for-12 in save opportunities this season.
“I thought our bullpen was excellent once again at holding them at bay,” added Hall. “Buck [Farmer] threw the ball well and kind of settled in there in the middle innings. [Kevin] Jacob also threw the ball well their in the eighth, and I thought [Andrew] Robinson was outstanding there in the ninth inning.”
Freshman Buck Farmer (5-1) picked up the win after yielding just one hit in 2 2/3 scoreless frames. Farmer struck out two and walked two, while picking up his third win in relief this year. Senior Andrew Robinson struck out two batters while recording the save in the ninth. Robinson now has seven saves this season.
The Jackets jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on a RBI single to right field by Derek Dietrich, followed by a sac fly to center from Tony Plagman. Dietrich and Cole Leonida led the team with two hits apiece on the day.
Tech extended its lead to 4-1 in the fourth frame behind an RBI single to right field by Esch, and a bases-loaded walk issued by Boston College starter John Leonard to Plagman. The Jackets drew 12 walks off of the BC pitching staff.
The Eagles rallied to tie the game at 4-4 in the fifth, as Boston College first baseman Micky Wiswall sent a two-run home run over the wall in right field off of Pope.
Tech would get the go-ahead run in the sixth off of BC reliever Hunter Gordon. Sophomore Matt Skole and Nichols drew back-to-back walks to load the bases, before Gordon hurled a pitch in the dirt on the next at-bat that reached the back-stop, allowing Jeff Rowland to race to home for a 5-4 lead.
Gordon fell to 1-3 on the year after allowing two runs in 2.0 innings of relief.
Esch and Nichols would go on to deliver their sacrifice flies over the next two innings for a 7-4 cushion.