Thursday, May 31, 2012
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GAINESVILLE, Fla.-- Buck Farmer will have to wait at least one more day to get his 2012 NCAA Regional under way.
Farmer, who has been No. 2 seed Georgia Tech's ace all season, will not start today's opener at 1 p.m. against No. 3 seed Charleston (37-20), an at-large selection from the Southern Conference. Tech coach Danny Hall chose to hold Farmer back for a potential matchup with No. 1 national seed Florida, which could come Saturday if both teams win today (Florida hosts Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference champion Bethune Cookman at 7 p.m.).
"If things work out the way I think they might work out, I think that we're going to need Buck to beat Florida," Hall told the (Charleston) Post and Courier.
Tech (36-24) is coming off an improbable run to the ACC Tournament championship last week, becoming the first No. 8 seed to win the league crown. The Yellow Jackets won four games in five days to capture the eighth conference title in the program's history, and Farmer had a lot to do with it.
Farmer pitched six innings of three-run ball in defeating then-No. 1 Florida State to get the title run started in last Wednesday's opening game. The Yellow Jackets then got six RBIs from Zane Evans to help crush No. 17 Virginia, 17-5, and Jake Davies, who was named national player of the week by Louisville Slugger, homered and allowed one earned run in six innings in knocking off Clemson 5-1. In the championship game, Tech jumped on top 4-0 in the first and never trailed, and Evans pitched three perfect innings to close out the tournament.
While the 2012 season has been Farmer's best as a collegiate -- 8-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 15 starts with 110 strikeouts in 99 innings pitched -- he'd already had plenty of success in postseason play before last week's win over the Seminoles. Last season, Farmer took the loss despite six innings of three-run ball and eight strikeouts against Florida State in the ACC Tournament, then dominated Austin Peay in a complete game five-hitter as the Jackets won 12-2 in the regional at Russ Chandler Stadium.