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The Buck Stops Here: Pack Pound Tech Ace to Take Series Opener

Tarran Senay starts a new hitting streak in a big way.

Anthony Tzamtzis still can't fine the plate, but at least he missed bats.
Anthony Tzamtzis still can't fine the plate, but at least he missed bats.

N. C. State fell behind early for the eighth time in its last eight ACC games, and, for the eighth time in its last eight ACC games, N. C. State came from behind to win. Thanks to a huge game from Tarran Senay, the Pack (30-10, 12-7) won their 12th game in a row overall, pulling away from Georgia Tech (27-11, 11-8) to win 13-4 in the series opener in Atlanta.

A. J. Murray homered off Pack starter Ryan Wilkins to give the Yellow Jackets a 2-1 edge in the bottom of the second, but Senay, who had already doubled home a run in the first, answered Murray's homer with a three-run blast in the top of the third to give the visitors a lead they would not relinquish. Senay later added a two-run double and finished the game 3-for-6 with six RBI; he is tied with Tech's Daniel Palka for fourth in the ACC with 42 runs batted in. After having his 12-game hitting streak snapped Sunday against Boston College, Senay has five hits in his last two games.

Trea Turner went 3-for-6 to raise his season average to .424, edging him closer to Chris Cammack's single season school batting average record (.429, set in 1969). Turner scored twice and also stole a base. Jake Armstrong (finally) got the start at DH and responded with a pair of hits. He was one of six Pack players with at least two hits, and the team banged out a total of 15 for the game. A Pack player reached base in every inning but the second, which was also the only inning that saw Jacket hurlers post a goose egg.

Buck Farmer, the Tech ace who entered the game 7-1 with a 1.41 ERA, was tagged for 10 hits and seven earned runs in five innings. An all-conference selection and 15th round MLB draft pick after his 2012 campaign, Farmer had surrendered just 10 earned runs all season.

Wilkins, a converted reliever who had allowed just two runs in 12 innings in his first two starts since moving to the rotation, was victimized by the long ball, giving up Murray's two-run blast and another two-run round tripper to Matt Gonzalez. Wilkins got a no decision after working only four innings. He allowed seven hits and walked three but did fan six Jackets.

Anthony Tzamtzis picked up the win in relief. Tzamtzis combined with Grant Sasser to hold the Jackets, who entered the contest with a team batting average of .321, hitless over the final five frames. Though he was plagued by his typical wildness, walking five in three and a third innings, it was nonetheless an impressive showing for Tzamtzis, who had allowed a staggering 43 base runners in 16 innings prior to Friday. Sasser came on in the bottom of the eighth and struck out Zane Evans looking with a nasty backdoor slider on a 3-2 pitch. The strikeout stranded runners on second and third.

Evans, who has 11 home runs on the season, went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Palka, who also has 11 taters and is flirting with a .400 batting average, was held to just one hit in four trips to the plate.

The Pack will try to win the series behind Carlos Rodon Saturday night at 6 p.m.