DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team amassed 18 hits en route to a 13-1 victory over the Czech Republic National Team in an exhibition game Thursday evening at Jack Coombs Field.
The game was part of the Czech Republic’s USA Tour, which runs from Oct. 3-15. In addition to Duke, the team also faced Campbell and has contests against NC State and East Carolina remaining.
“I thought we were good in all three phases,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “Our pitchers did a good job of challenging the zone. We had the leadoff walk to start the game, we walked a guy with two outs in the ninth and in between we only walked one guy. We were aggressive to the strike zone and we worked quick. I thought we did well defensively behind our pitchers and we centered a lot of baseballs. There were a lot of positives to take out of it.”
Junior Andy Perez began the night with a bang, delivering a solo shot over the wall in left field to lead off the bottom of the first. Perez finished the night with three hits and three runs scored.
Duke broke open the contest in the second, sending six runs across to stake a 7-0 advantage. Redshirt senior Ryan Deitrich began the frame with a single and also added a two-run double as Duke sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning. Senior Mark Lumpa and sophomore Kenny Koplove both contributed RBI singles as well.
The Blue Devils plated a pair in the third with junior Grant McCabe and redshirt junior Mike Rosenfeld each driving in a run. Senior Jordan Betts singled to start off the fourth and scored Duke’s 10th run of the game on a double play ball later in the inning.
The Czech Republic scored its only run of the contest in the top of the fifth as Petr Zyma lifted a 0-1 pitch over the wall in left. The Czech Republic totaled seven hits in the contest but was unable to string hits together the majority of the night.
Duke used nine pitchers on the night, beginning with junior left-hander Trent Swart. Michael Matuella, Robert Huber, Drew Van Orden, Chris Kono, James Marvel, Sarkis Ohanian Nick Hendrix and Andrew Istler each threw an inning for the Blue Devils.
“[Tonight] really helps us offensively because we saw some different arms,” Pollard said. “Guys get tired of seeing the same arms over and over. They get a little more game-lie at bats. We got to play under the lights and we got to play on a day that feels like February, which is good.”
Duke concludes its fall preparations with its Fall World Series, beginning Friday, Oct. 25. The Blue Devils open the 2014 campaign with a three-game series Feb. 14-16 against 2013 America East champion Binghamton.