Marcus Stroman struck out a career-high 17 batters in seven shutout innings and Duke defeated George Washington 13-2 on Friday evening at Jack Coombs Field. Stroman's 17 strikeouts were two shy of the ACC single-game record of 19.DURHAM, N.C. - Junior right-hander
Stroman (1-1) struck out 17 of the 23 batters he faced without issuing a walk. He had at least two strikeouts in every inning and had three strikeouts in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Stroman retired the first 11 batters he faced and held the Colonials to just two hits. After giving up his second hit in the fifth, Stroman retired the final eight batters that he faced, seven of them by strikeout.
Stroman retired George Washington (1-6) in order in five out of his seven innings and faced only four batters in the other two. He matched his previous career high of 11 strikeouts by the fifth inning.
Stroman dropped his ERA to 2.37 and now has 30 strikeouts in 19 innings in his three starts. He is striking out 14.21 batters per nine innings. He had 10 strikeouts in seven innings last week against Canisius.
Duke (6-5) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Matt Berezo sent a leadoff triple to the wall in right field. Two batters later, center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms lifted a sacrifice fly to left to drive in the first run of the game.
Second baseman Angelo LaBruna scored on a two-out error in the bottom of the fifth to give the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Devils added three runs in the sixth to go ahead 5-0. Designated hitter Jeff Kremer walked and third baseman Jordan Betts and left fielder David Perkins both singled to load the bases with no outs. First baseman Andy Perez then sent an RBI-single through the left side to score Kremer. Right fielder Grant McCabe followed with sacrifice fly to left to plate Betts. With only one out on the board, head coach Sean McNally dialed up a squeeze play. LaBruna bunted the ball perfectly to the right side, allowing pinch runner Anthony D'Alessandro to score easily from third.
Duke then scored six two-out runs in the seventh to extend its lead to 11-0. After Kremer was hit by a pitch, Betts singled to right field to give the Blue Devils runners on the corners with two outs. D'Alessandro then drove in Kremer with an RBI-single to short. Betts would then steal third and score on a passed ball. McCabe followed with an RBI-single up the middle. LaBruna then lined a two-run single to center for his second and third RBI of the day. After Berezo drew a walk on five pitches, catcher Mike Rosenfeld was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Piwnica-Worms capped the frame with an RBI-single through the left side.
The Blue Devils scored its six two-out runs on five hits in the seventh. Duke sent 12 batters to the plate during the inning.
Duke tacked on a pair of runs in the eighth for a 13-0 lead. McCabe drove in a run on a fielder's choice and LaBruna picked up his fourth RBI of the night with a one-out single.
George Washington finally got on the scoreboard in the ninth, scoring on an RBI-double by third baseman Brett Bowers and an RBI-single by pinch hitter Ryan Thomas.
LaBruna led the Blue Devils at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with 4 RBI and two runs scored. McCabe drove in three runs and Piwnica-Worms added two RBI in the win. Berezo was 3-for-5 with a triple and a run scored, while Betts added two hits and scored three times. D'Alessandro also scored three times after entering the game as a pinch runner in the sixth. Kremer added a hit and two runs scored and Perez had a hit, an RBI and a run scored. Nine different Blue Devils had hits in the game.
Sophomore reliever Drew Van Orden worked a scoreless eighth for Duke, striking out two batters in his only inning. Sophomore righty Mark Lumpa also had a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.
George Washington starter Brian Derner (0-2) took the loss after allowing four runs on five hits in five innings of work.
Game two of the series will start at 12 noon on Saturday at Jack Coombs Field. Sunday's series finale will be at 1 p.m. at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.