With one of its lightest-hitting series of the season, the Tech baseball team dropped two of three games to Clemson.
Said Tech coach Danny Hall, “We didn’t swing the bats very good. Our pitching was good and our defense was good. Just didn’t do what we needed to do.”
In the three games, Tech hit .168. The Tigers were particularly effective against Tech’s 3-4-5 hitters, Matt Skole, Jake Davies and Daniel Palka, who were 3-for-32 with 2 RBI over the three games.
It’s only the second series that Tech, ranked No. 9 by Baseball America, has lost this season. Tech is 31-14 overall and 18-6 in the ACC. The Jackets fell a game further behind Coastal Division leader Virginia, the No. 1 team in the country, which took two of three from Boston College and is 20-4 in the ACC. Virginia owns the tiebreaker over Tech, having taken an early April series from Tech. Clemson is 29-15 overall and 13-11 in the conference.
Sunday, Tech lost 3-1, letting a sterling effort by pitcher Buck Farmer go to waste. Farmer threw an eight-inning complete game, giving up three runs on four hits and one walk and needing just 76 pitches. He retired the last 12 batters he faced.
With the score tied at 1 in the fourth, Farmer had two outs with a runner on first before giving up a double to Jeff Schaus and then a single to Will Lamb that gave Clemson its 3-1 lead. Tech coach Danny Hall said the double was off a change-up just inside the first-base line – “didn’t hit it hard, just in the right spot” – and the single was a grounder up the middle.
Farmer “definitely gave us every chance to win,” Hall said.
Saturday, Jed Bradley threw his first complete game, allowing one unearned run in a 5-1 win. Left fielder Sam Dove went 5-for-5 and hit a 2-RBI single in the first inning. Friday, ace Mark Pope had his shortest outing in his past eight starts, going six innings and giving up three runs on 10 hits. The Jackets were no-hit through the first four innings.
Despite the series loss, Hall said the Jackets are in “great shape” as they head into finals week. Tech will play a series in Chicago against UIC this coming weekend and finish ACC play against North Carolina May 10-12 and at Virginia Tech May 19-21.
“I think if you look at what we need to get better at, our upperclassmen need to play better, that’s what I would say,” Hall said. “They need to step up and start taking control about what’s going on.”
Softball clinches ACC regular season title
The Tech softball team swept Boston College, taking the three games 2-1, 11-2 and 9-7. The Jackets clinched their third consecutive ACC regular-season title and won their league-record 23rd consecutive series. They also reached 40 wins (41-18, 15-1 ACC) for the sixth time in the last seven seasons.
“It is a battle each weekend,” coach Sharon Perkins said in an e-mail. “I couldn’t be more proud of how the players respond to the challenge.”
Tech’s winning pitchers were Kristen Adkins, Lindsey Anderson and Hope Rush. Shortstop Kelsi Weseman was 3-for-9 in the series with 5 RBI and hit her 19th home run of the season, most in the ACC.
“Different players stepped up in each game,” Perkins said. “It was typical for how our season has gone with various people being clutch in many situations.”
Tech pounded out 30 hits, hitting .352 over the weekend, and committed one error. Tech leads the ACC in hitting at .329, 40 points better than the second-best team in the league (Virginia Tech). Going into the Boston College series, Tech was 15th in the country in batting average and second in slugging percentage.
Njoku wins at Penn Relays
Thursday at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, Leslie Njoku won the 400-meter hurdles in 58.11 seconds, a career best. Njoku finished sixth in the event at the ACC championships the previous week.
Julienne McKee took third in the long jump (6.01 meters) and the triple jump (12.53 meters). The men’s distance medley relay (Shawn Roberts, Antonio McKay Jr., Alec Clifford and Mark Mendrek-Laske) finished third, also, in 9:54.15.