The Tech baseball team was swept in three games by No. 2 Florida State over the weekend at Russ Chandler Stadium. It was a rough result for Tech, which had chances to win the first two games. The Jackets lost the opener 2-1 in 10 innings, voiding eight innings of one-run ball from starter Buck Farmer. Brandon Thomas tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a one-out double to score Kyle Wren, but Tech failed to bring Thomas around. FSU scored the game-winning run in the top of the 10th with a single, walk and single, all with two outs.
Saturday, Tech took a 6-1 lead before the Seminoles scored nine in the fifth inning on their way to a 12-7 win. They completed the sweep with an 8-4 win Sunday.
The Jackets’ ability to hang around games with the No. 2 team in the country demonstrated that they’re a capable team. A beat-up pitching staff, though, has been their undoing.
Tech is now 19-14 overall and 6-9 in the ACC and is running out of highway, as I once heard Bill Parcells say, in its bid to make the NCAA tournament. (He was talking about Quincy Carter and his opportunity to prove himself in the NFL, though, not the 2012 Tech baseball team.) Of Tech’s five remaining ACC series, the Jackets looks like they have a decided advantage in only one of them (Wake Forest). The others are at No. 3 North Carolina, home against Clemson, at No. 29 Virginia and home against No. 9 Miami (rankings from NCBWA, April 2). There’s also two more games against Georgia.
For whatever it’s worth, N.C. State made the NCAA tournament with 25 losses and a .500 league record in 2011 and 22 losses and a .500 league record in 2010. In 2010, North Carolina and Virginia Tech got bids with 20 losses, and league records of 14-16 and 16-14, respectively.
If Tech were to win each remaining ACC series two games to one, the Jackets would finish 16-14 in league play (with at least 19 overall losses) and would presumably lock up a bid. Dropping one series one games to two would drop their league record to 15-15 (with at least 20 overall losses). If the past two years are a guide, that likely would slip them into the field. However, asking Tech to win four of its five remaining series is a tall order. Anything less than that, and it gets veddy dicey.
The news that coach Danny Hall gets Monday regarding pitchers Luke Bard and Matthew Grimes may determine the feasibility of such a finish. Tech’s closer and projected No. 2 starter, respectively, have both had arm trouble and didn’t pitch against FSU. Bad news regarding those two will be, at the least, troublesome.
2. The golf team took second at the Gary Koch Invitational in Tampa, led by All-American James White’s fifth-place individual finish. There were seven ranked teams in the 15-team field, including the No. 11 Jackets. White shot 4-under par, shooting all three rounds under par. Anders Albertson tied for seventh at 1-under par.
3. The Tech softball team swept Maryland at Mewborn Field (6-1, 9-6, 5-0) to climb into second place in the ACC, just one game behind Florida State. The Jackets have won 20 games in a row over the Terrapins.
Pitcher Hope Rush won games Saturday and Sunday, giving up one run over 14 innings. Third baseman Kelsi Weseman scored six runs in the three games.
Sunday’s game also concluded the team’s month-long fund-raising campaign for former team member Amy Hosier, diagnosed last year with breast cancer. Various fund-raisers cleared about $2,500, roughly half of which came in on Sunday.