In the opener, Marcus Stroman, Robert Huber (2-0) and Ben Grisz combined to shut out La Salle while allowing just seven hits. The three pitchers combined to strike out eleven batters, eight of which came from Stroman in his first start of the season. Freshman Anthony D’Alessandro provided the offense for Duke with a three-run, two-out double in the bottom of the eighth to break open a scoreless game.
In game two, O’Grady (3-0) pitched seven innings of one-run baseball with five strikeouts to keep his season ERA at 0.90. D’Alessandro stayed hot, finishing 4-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, while teammate Joe Pedevillano was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two RBI and a run scored.
D’Alessandro finished the day batting 6-for-7 with five RBI, three runs and a steal of home. During the two games, D’Alessandro had an on-base percentage of .875, a slugging percentage of 1.000 and a batting average of .857 while extending his hitting streak to six games.
Duke finished the day with 22 hits, 13 runs and only nine strikeouts in 67 at-bats. The Blue Devil pitchers enjoyed a streak of 22.2 scoreless innings that featured back-to-back shutouts in Friday’s series opener and game one of the double header. Duke freshman Jordan Betts also extended his hitting streak to nine games and is batting .455 on the year while classmate Chris Marconcini also extended his streak to eight games and drove in his team-leading 15th RBI of the year.
GAME ONE: Duke Throws Second Straight Shutout
Anthony D’Alessandro’s three-run double in the bottom of the eighth and a steal of home helped lead Duke to a 4-0 shutout win over La Salle to clinch the series in the first game of a double header on Saturday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
D’Alessandro, a freshman outfielder, finished the game 2-for-2 with a single and a double, three RBI and a run scored, as he accounted for all four of Duke’s runs.
Along with D’Alessandro, six Blue Devils recorded a hit. Freshmen Chris Marconcini went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to seven games, while fellow freshman Jordan Betts went 1-for-3 and extended his hitting streak to eight games.
Sophomore right-handed pitcher Marcus Stroman got his first start of the season and threw five shutout innings and scattered just three hits. Stroman struck out eight batters and gave up zero walks before turning the ball over to freshman Robert Huber and junior Ben Grisz.
Huber, the freshman right-hander, pitched three shutout innings and scattered just three hits and struck out three batters. Grisz came in to close down the Explorers in the top of the ninth and got a game-ending double play that clinched the series for Duke.
LaSalle starting pitcher Eric Van Wyk pitched six shutout innings and scattered five hits and struck out five batters with only two walks before he turned it over to Kevin Christy (1-1). Christy pitched two full innings and scattered three hits, including D’Alessandro’s game-winning double with one out in the bottom of the eighth.
Duke (9-2) scored its four runs on eight hits and stole two bases. The Blue Devils have now stolen an ACC leading 28 bases on 37 attempts.
The Blue Devils were shutout through seven innings but finally notched four runs in the bottom of the eighth after Duke loaded the bases. D’Alessandro hit a three-run bases clearing double to deep center field and then crossed the plate on a first-and-third double steal to give Duke the 4-0 win in the first game of a double header.
GAME TWO: O’Grady Picks Up Third Win as Duke Sweeps La Salle
In his third start this season, senior Dennis O’Grady (3-0) scattered nine hits and gave up one earned run in seven complete innings. O’Grady struck-out five batters and gave up only one walk before the La Salle hitter tagged Duke’s bullpen for six runs in the eighth inning. Freshman Drew Van Orden came into the game with a 9-7 lead in the ninth inning and retired three straight batters to give Duke the win and record his first save.
Duke (10-2) scored its nine runs on 14 hits. Nine different Blue Devils recorded a hit in game two of the double header, while D’Alessandro, Marconcini and Pedevillano all had multiple hits. D’Alessandro, Pedevillano and Angelo LaBruna all recorded two RBI and, Marconcini and Mark Tatera each had one.
The Blue Devils scored the first run in the bottom of the fourth inning after Will Piwnica-Worms reached base on a leadoff double. Piwnica-Worms then advanced to third and scored on the throw to first on a single by D’Alessandro. Matt Berezo then reached base on a fielding error by second baseman Jeff Flax, and Pedevillano ripped a two-run double to right field that put Duke on top 3-0.
La Salle answered in the top of the fifth from a single by Dan Klem that scored Eric Kammler who reached base on a leadoff walk.
Duke then tallied five runs on five hits in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Marconcini started the five-run inning with an RBI double that scored Perkins, who reached base with a leadoff single. D’Alessandro hit a two-run single that scored Marconcini and Betts, who reached on single, and then LaBruna hit the second two-run single of the inning that scored Kremer and D’Alessandro to push the lead to 8-1.
The Blue Devils added another run in the bottom of the seventh on a single by Perkins that scored Pedevillano, who reached base on a leadoff double.
The Explorers made things close in the top of the eighth with a six-run rally from five hits. La Salle had four batters that picked up an RBI in the inning to make the score 9-7. Van Orden then cut the rally down by retiring the side in order in the ninth on just 11 pitches.
Duke will next be on the road for two mid-week showdowns at High Point on Tuesday, March 8, and at William & Mary on Wednesday, March 9. First pitch for both games is scheduled for 4 p.m.