DURHAM, N.C. - The Blue Team rallied for five runs in the bottom of the eighth en route to a dramatic, come-from-behind victory, 6-4, over the Black Team in game two of the Duke baseball team's 2012 Fall World Series. The series is now tied 1-1 entering Sunday's game three.
Trailing 4-1 entering the eighth, junior Aaron Cohn began Blue's rally with a double to left center and junior Jordan Betts followed with a single to left. Freshman Michael Matuella, on in relief for Black, induced a first-pitch groundball double play by sophomore Reed Anthes, appearing to end the rally. However, junior Angelo La Bruna followed Mark Lumpa's two-out walk with a double to the left-center gap, plating two runs and bringing Blue within one at 4-3.
Senior Ryan Munger drew a walk and sophomore Andrew Istler hit a chopper to third, which appeared to end the inning, but junior Matt Berezo's throw would sail wide of the bag, allowing La Bruna to score from second to tie the game. Sophomore Andy Perez stepped up to the plate and belted a first-pitch fastball deep in the left-center gap to put Blue ahead 6-4.
Yet Black would not go quietly in the ninth. Following a one-out single by redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini, Berezo battled through a 10-pitch at bat, drawing a walk and bringing the go-ahead run to the plate. Senior Josh Ruffin, who had come on in relief in the eight, got freshman Jalen Phillips to pop out in foul territory, then induced an apparent game-ending ground ball to short stop La Bruna. The throw was just wide, however, loading the bases for rookie Jake Cosart. Cosart, who had singled off Ruffin one inning earlier, smoked a 1-1 fastball that was stabbed by Betts at third base to end the game.
Ruffin, who pitched two scoreless innings of relief after pitching out of back-to-back bases loaded jams, picked up the win while Matuella was saddled with the loss.
Not to be out-done by the late-inning drama, junior Drew Van Orden, sophomore Nick Piscotty and freshman James Marvel combined to pitch 11 quality innings, giving up a combined three earned runs on six hits. Van Orden was particularly dominant as he cruised through three shutout innings, striking out three without surrendering a walk.
Sophomore Grant McCabe and Marconcini had two hits each for Black in the loss, while La Bruna led Blue with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate.
With the series now tied at 1-1, game three will take place Sunday, November 4, at 2 p.m.