NASHVILLE — Georgia Tech continued to be a hurdle the Bucs can’t clear.
East Tennessee State fell to 1-24 all-time against the Yellow Jackets, managing only three hits in a 5-1 loss Saturday that elminated the Bucs from the NCAA baseball regional at Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field.
Senior pitcher Kerry Doane lost for the first time in 21?2 months and the Bucs managed just two runs and eight hits in two losses in their first regional appearance since 1981. They were beaten by second-ranked Vanderbilt 9-1 on Friday.
ETSU, which won seven straight to clinch the Atlantic Sun Confernece tournament title, finished the year at 36-24, tying for the third-most wins in program history.
Doane gave up five runs on 10 hits, walked a career-high four batters and struck out three in seven innings. He finished the year at 13-2; his last loss was March 16 to USC-Upstate.
Georgia Tech’s Buck Farmer and Jonathan Roberts combined on the three-hitter, striking out 12 and retiring 11 straight ETSU batters during one stretch. Farmer allowed just two singles, one by Chris Riopedre and another by Clinton Freeman, and struck out five of the first seven ETSU batters to start the game. He didn’t return after a lightning delay that lasted 1 hour, 48 minutes in the seventh inning.
Farmer, the NCAA’s active strikeout leader, had eight strikeouts in six innnings to move his career total to 385.
Roberts finished the game to pick up his second save despite allowing an unearned run in the ninth. Farmer got the win and improved to 9-4.
“I thought it was certainly a very good game by our team,” said head coach Danny Hall. “Obviously, Buck dominated the game. Brandon (Thomas) and some of our other guys had some timely hits. I thought it was critical that we get runs early because we certainly were expecting a tough pitcher on the other end.”
ETSU’s one run came when Dylan Tritsch crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly by Kevin Phillips. Tritsch reached on a fielding error, moved to second on a throwing error when Andrew Green hit into a fielder’s choice and moved to third on a ground out by Freeman.
The Yellow Jackets scored a run apiece in the first two innings. Zane Evans hit a sacrifice fly to deep center that plated Sam Dove, who had reached on a single, and Kyle Wren doubled to score Mott Hyde who reached on an error.
Doane kept the Yellow Jackets quiet in the third and fourth, but Evans hit a one-out single in the fifth and scored on a double by Brandon Thomas. Georgia Tech loaded the bases in the inning, but Doane worked out of the jam to end the threat. The Yellow Jackets added two more runs in the seventh on an RBI single by Hyde and a sacrifice fly by Daniel Spingola.
“We felt like he was going to throw strikes,” Hall said. “We wanted to be pretty aggressive early, and we felt like he’d give us some pitches to hit. I think he probably, in my mind, and I’d never seen him throw before, probably made some mistakes today, got some balls up that he usually doesn’t make those mistakes, and to our guys’ credit they hit the ball up.”
Doane wrapped up his collegiate career with ETSU’s single-season record with 12 complete games and 147 innings pitched. He tied the single-season and all-time shutout record with four. He also tied the single-season program record in wins and his 2.14 ERA the lowest for ETSU since Dallas Rinehart registered 2.81 in 1992. The Louisville Slugger First Team All-American was the A-Sun’s pitcher of the year and MVP of the league tournament.
Georgia Tech’s top eight batters each had at least one hit, with Dove, Thomas and Hyde each getting two. The Yellow Jackets (35-26) play the loser of Saturday’s Illinois-Vanderbilt game in another elimination game today.