March 20, 2011
ATLANTA – Led by Daniel Palka, the Georgia Tech baseball team notched 14 hits for 11 runs topping NC State, 11-4 on Sunday to sweep the Wolfpack in front of 1,157 at Russ Chandler Stadium. Palka was 3-for-5 on the day with four RBIs, just the homerun shy of the cycle.
“One of the things that we wanted to do was go out and get after them right away,” said Head Coach Danny Hall, “and we did that in the first two innings and coasted from there. [Palka] is a good hitter and a tough out and we are just happy that he is on our side that is for sure.”
Tech (17-4, 6-0 ACC) has won 12-straight games with their sweep of NC State (10-10, 1-5 ACC) and is still undefeated in ACC play.
Buck Farmer earned his third win of the season, working 6.2 innings and allowing four runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking four. Farmer sat down two NC State batters by way of the K in the first, second and fourth innings, tacking on another strikeout in the sixth.
The Jackets jumped out to an early lead in the first inning as the first four batters to come to the plate reached base. Kyle Wren reached on a leadoff triple, Jacob Esch got to first on an error by the NC State shortstop, and Matt Skole reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases with no outs for Palka. Palka didn’t disappoint roping a ground rule double down the leftfield line scoring Wren and Esch. Davies kept the momentum going with a liner up the middle to score Skole, while the next batter Brandon Thomas sent a sacrifice fly to left field bringing home Palka and earning the fourth run of the inning.
NC State got one back in the top of the second when Dylan Brown drove in Tarran Senay on a double down the rightfield line but the Jackets responded in the bottom half of the frame tacking on another couple runs on an Esch single, chasing the Wolfpack starting pitcher, Ethan Ogburn, out of the game. Palka welcomed Rob Chamra into the game with an RBI triple to deep centerfield, bringing home Esch. Palka came home in the next at bat on a ground out to the shortstop by Evans to record the fourth run of the inning.
Three-straight hits to start off the fourth, helped the Jackets add another couple of runs to their total. Esch began things with a double, moved up to third on a single by Skole and came home on an RBI single through the right side by Palka. Skole moved over to third on Palka’s hit and then home on the next play, as Evans grounded into a double play.
With NC State threatening in the top of the fifth, Tech turned a beautiful 5-4-3 double play to end any chances of scoring for the Wolfpack. NC State did get on the board in the top of the seventh thanks to three doubles, adding three runs to their total and slimming the Tech lead down to six.
The Jackets continued the offense in their last at bats in the bottom of the eighth. Sam Dove started off with a single up the middle, moving to second after Wren walked, to third on a sacrifice fly by Esch and crossed the plate on a single to centerfield by Skole.
Tech will be back in action on the road for the first time since February 23 when they head to Georgia for a Tuesday night meeting with the Bulldogs which will begin at 7 p.m. After their mid-week game they will travel to Miami for an ACC weekend series with the Hurricanes.