DURHAM, N.C. – Seventh-ranked Florida State (42-16) used a three-run third inning to back a solid performance from pitcher Mike McGee in a 4-2 win against No. 8 Georgia Tech (40-19) on Saturday morning at the 2011 ACC Baseball Championships at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The loss eliminates third-seeded Georgia Tech from the tournament.
McGee tossed 5.1 shutout innings to record the win. McGee held the Jackets without a hit over 4 2/3 innings until Tech outfielder Brandon Thomas singled to shortstop.
The Seminoles took advantage of a shaky third inning from Georgia Tech starter Buck Farmer (10-3) to score three runs in the frame.
FSU loaded the bases on singles from Rafael Lopez, Mike McGee and Jace Boyd with one out. On the next at-bat, Farmer walked Sherman Johnson on four pitches to score the game’s first run. After a sacrifice fly to right field from Justin Gonzalez brought in another run, Famer’s pickoff attempt on Johnson at second base sailed into the outfield and scored first baseman Jace Boyd.
James Ramsey’s RBI single to second base an inning later gave the Seminoles a 4-0 lead.
Farmer went on to settle down and retire seven consecutive batters before giving way to the bullpen to start the seventh. Farmer recorded eight strikeouts in the losing effort, and lost for the first time in his last five starts. He scattered the four runs (three earned) over six innings.
Despite a slow day at the plate, Tech still had plenty of opportunities to bring in runners later in the game.
The Jackets threatened by loading the bases with one out in the sixth inning on a single by junior Jacob Esch and back-to-back walks drawn by juniors Matt Skole and Jake Davies. FSU left-hander Brian Busch entered to replace McGee on the mound, and got freshman Daniel Palka to ground into a 6-3 double play to end the inning.
Tech would cut the lead in half in the next inning, on a 2-RBI single to right field by Zane Evans that made it a 4-2 game. The Jackets loaded the bases with two outs after Esch was hit by a pitch and Skole was walked, but Davies sent a fly ball on the first pitch he saw to center field to strand three more runners on base.
Tech had once more chance in the ninth inning after Thomas’ leadoff double was followed by a single from Evans to put runners on the corners. FSU closer Daniel Bennett, however, would pick off pinch-runner Connor Winn, strikeout freshman Kyle Wren and get a popup from Esch to end the game. Bennett recorded his 14th save of the season.