Jackets Pound No. 6 North Carolina, 11-4, In Series Opener
April 20, 2012
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Georgia Tech scored four runs early, tacked on seven runs late and in between Buck Farmer pitched another gem as the Yellow Jackets took down No. 6 North Carolina, 11-4, Friday night at Boshamer Stadium in Chapel Hill. Freshman Thomas Smith had two hits and drove in a career-high four runs.
Tech (23-16, 8-11) pounded out 13 hits in the game, getting multi-hit efforts from Smith, Jake Davies, Sam Dove, Mott Hyde and Kyle Wren and scoring the most runs allowed by the Tar Heels (28-11, 12-7) this season.
The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday to conclude the series, as Sunday's game was moved due to impending weather. Saturday's first pitch is set for noon and is live on ESPN3.
Farmer scattered six hits (five singles) and two runs over seven strong innings and picked up his sixth win (6-3) this season, and his second-straight over UNC. It was just the second career win for Farmer when striking out only one batter (Mercer on March 24, 2010).
Farmer has allowed three earned runs over his last four starts, covering 30 innings, and has yielded two runs in two career starts (15 innings) versus the Tar Heels.
"He pitched great, we gave him some runs early and he was able to relax out there and give us seven strong innings," said head coach Danny Hall. "The thing I liked is that we kept adding runs. That's something we haven't seen in a while, but something we need to keep doing."
The Jackets, who had given Farmer only four runs of support over his last three starts, doubled that output in the first three innings for a quick 4-0 lead on UNC starter Kent Emanuel, who entered with the ACC's second-lowest ERA of 1.80 ERA.
Hyde put the Jackets in front in the second inning when he laced an RBI double down the left-field line, and Wren followed in the next at bat with an RBI triple to left. Tech doubled its advantage in the third when Smith drove a two-RBI double to the gap in right.
Working with the lead, Farmer allowed two runs in the fifth, then left a pair of Heels stranded in both the sixth and seventh innings to dodge further trouble.
The Jackets capitalized on three UNC errors in the seventh inning and scored three runs to blow the game open, then tacked on four more runs on five hits in the eighth. Davies' two-run single got the scoring started in the eighth, and Zane Evans and Smith followed later with RBIs.
Emanuel was tagged the loss (5-3), yielding six hits and four runs with nine strikeouts in five innings. Six different relievers followed Emanuel.
"It looked like he (Emanuel) was going to cruise through the first inning, but we made him work and did the same thing in the second," said Hall. "We had good approaches, didn't chase balls that were out of the zone and that allowed us to drive up the pitch count on him and knock him out after five."
Brian Holberton had three hits for UNC and Mike Zolk had a pair of RBI.
Davies 2-for-4 effort extended his hitting streak to 13 games, while Brandon Thomas had a hit and walked three times, which extended his reached base streak to 40 games.