The Virginia Tech baseball team fell to 11-3 on the season in an 11-1 loss to Georgia Tech Friday night.
Georgia Tech pitcher Buck Farmer shut down the Hokies’ bats as Virginia Tech dropped a crucial game to the Yellow Jackets to open up ACC play.
Farmer dazzled over his six innings, striking out seven batters while only allowing two hits and one run.
The No. 24 Hokies match up with the No. 14 Yellow Jackets this weekend, the first time two ranked opponents have matched up in Blacksburg since April 11, 2010 when the No. 25 Hokies took two-out-of-three from the No. 9 Miami Hurricanes.
“We were 11-2 last year but we didn’t play well in league,” said Pete Hughes, head coach. “Any time we have an opportunity to win a big series to start off our ACC series, it’s important for momentum to dictate how we’re going to play in league this year. It was disappointing.”
Georgia Tech struck first in the second inning on a two-run home run by Zane Evans. The ball bounced off Andrew Rash’s glove and went over the centerfield wall.
“The game got out of hand a little bit in certain areas, but when you face their guy who’s outstanding…and you spot him a two run lead…it leaves them really comfortable,” Hughes said.
Georgia Tech scored again in the fourth, but the big blow came in the fifth. With the bases loaded, starting pitcher Eddie Campbell surrendered a grand slam to Daniel Palka, a towering shot over the right field wall to make the score 7-0.
Campbell went four-plus innings, allowed seven runs on five hits while walking five. He struck out three Georgia Tech batters.
“I don’t think he was that wild, I thought he was squeezed a little bit,” Hughes said.
Farmer carried a no hitter into the sixth before allowing a double to Gary Schneider.
“He pitched off his soft stuff more than I remember him doing last year,” Hughes said. “I thought we had some solid, quality at-bats against a really good pitcher, but you better be in a 0-0 or one-run game to beat that guy.”
Brad Markey (2-0, 2.14 ERA) takes the ball tomorrow for the Hokies. Georgia Tech will counter with Dusty Isaacs (2-1, 3.72 ERA).
Last weekend against Notre Dame, Markey went eight innings in a losing effort. He allowed just two earned runs. Saturday, he will face his former team in Georgia Tech.
“I’m really excited,” Markey said. “I probably won’t be able to sleep tonight. I’m just really excited, that’s all I can say. I went there and I just want to do my best and make it a good game.”
Markey will be facing one of the top lineups in the country, but will use his knowledge of his former team to help him.
“I know a bunch of them,” Markey said. “I was talking to a lot of them before the game, but tomorrow they are not my friends. You just have to keep them off-balance and pitch backwards and hopefully they don’t hit it like they have been.”
Hughes doesn’t think the loss will have any effect on tomorrow’s game.
“They’ll be fine,” Hughes said. “Our guys are resilient and you have to in this game. We don’t even have 24 hours to get feeling good again and focused. Short-term memory is the name of the game here.”
Game two of the series will be played at 2 p.m. Saturday at English Field.