Tech routed by Georgia, swept by Wolfpack

Jon Barash

Tuesday night saw the Jackets take on the Georgia Bulldogs in a neutral-site showdown at Turner Field. After holding off Georgia 7-5 April 9 in Athens, the Bulldogs tagged Jonathan King for four runs on seven hits in just two innings as they shut out the Jackets 17-0 in the annual Kaufman Tires Spring Baseball Classic for Kids. The lone bright spot on the Jackets’ side was Kyle Wren extending his hitting streak to nine games in a 2-for-4 effort from the plate. Several Bulldogs made significant contributions in their offensive showcase as Curt Powell and Justin Cole each went 4-for-5 with two RBIs, while Justin Bryan added three hits and four RBIs of his own. Tech dropped to 27-14 on the season, while the Bulldogs improved to 16-26. The teams will play for a third and final time on May 14 from Russ Chandler Stadium.

 

The loss comes off the heels of a disappointing weekend for Tech as they took on the North Carolina State Wolfpack at home in a crucial ACC series. Friday’s game saw Buck Farmer, who was looking for his eighth win, take the mound for Tech. Unfortunately, Farmer struggled early, allowing seven runs on ten hits in his shortest outing of the season. The loss was Farmer’s first home loss since February 2011 and his first ever home ACC loss. Despite home runs from Matt Gonzalez and A.J. Murray, the Jackets couldn’t keep up with the N.C. State firepower, ultimately falling 13-4. Tech had plenty of scoring opportunities, but stranded 12 runners, including six in scoring position.

 

Saturday saw the Wolfpack’s Carlos Rodon stifle the Jackets’ bats, pitching a complete game and allowing just two runs on nine hits as N.C. State took the second game of the series 6-2. Dusty Isaacs started for the Jackets but lasted just five innings, giving up three runs on seven hits in his fourth loss of the season. Kyle Wren went 2-for-4 while driving in both of the Jackets’ runs on RBI singles in the third and eighth innings.

 

The Jackets attempted to salvage a game in the series on Sunday and from the looks of it enteringthe ninth inning, it appeared that they would do just that. Tech took a 7-6 lead into the final inning, but after a single from Brett Williams drove in Grant Clyde, whose double led off the inning, and Jake Armstrong’s one out sacrifice fly broke a 7-7 tie, the Wolfpack was able to complete a series sweep of the Jackets, stealing the game 8-7. The Jackets rallied back from an early 5-0 deficit by responding with four runs in the third thanks to doubles from Kyle Wren and Brandon Thomas, who finished 3-for-4. The Jackets also got a lift from Thomas Smith, who went 2-for-4, with two RBIs and also his first career home run. Zane Evans also added two RBIs, but was credited with the loss after blowing the save in the ninth.

 

Tech hopes to end its four-game skid this weekend as they travel to Clemson for a series against the Tigers. Both teams enter the series in the middle of the pack in their respective division’s standings, with Clemson currently sitting at 13-8 in the conference and a 27-13 overall record. The Jackets are hoping to remain ahead of Miami for third place in the Coastal Division as they hold an 11-10 conference record, with the Hurricanes lurking at 10-11 in ACC play.

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