With the season on the line, Buck Farmer was just what the Georgia Tech baseball team needed. The senior from Conyers pitched six shutout innings and allowed just two singles as the Yellow Jackets defeated East Tennessee State 5-1 Saturday in an elimination game in the Nashville Regional.
Tech (35-26), the No. 2 seed, will play the loser of host and top seed Vanderbilt and third-seeded Illinois, which ended too late for this edition, today at 3 p.m.
With Farmer about to take the mound for the bottom of the seventh, lightning and rain forced the game into a long delay.
Once play resumed and with Tech up 5-0, Farmer was replaced by Jonathan Roberts, who pitched the final three innings and allowed a sacrifice fly in the ninth for ETSU's only run.
It was the second win in regional play for Farmer, who beat Austin Peay with a complete game five-hitter in 2011. In four career appearances in the regionals, Farmer is 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA.
Farmer retired the last seven batters he faced after allowing a single to Clinton Freeman in the fourth.
The Yellow Jackets staked Farmer to an early lead. In the first, Sam Dove and Daniel Palka had consecutive singles and Zane Evans followed with a sacrifice fly for the first run of the day.
In the second, Daniel Spingola reached on a fielder's choice and stole second, later scoring on a double by Kyle Wren to make it a 2-0 game.
Farmer retired the first seven batters he faced -- five coming on strikeouts -- before Chris Riopedre singled with one out in the third.
Brandon Thomas had a run-scoring double in the fifth to put Tech up 3-0.
A single by Mott Hyde and Spingola's sacrifice fly allowed Tech to grab a 5-0 cushion in the top of the seventh just before the lightning delay.
"I was glad we'd gotten those two runs in the top of the seventh so it was 5-0 lead as opposed to a 3-0 lead. I really felt like they weren't going to score on Buck," Tech coach Danny Hall told ramblinwreck.com.
Farmer (9-4), one of the nation's leaders in strikeouts, had eight Saturday and picked up his first win since May 3.