DURHAM, N.C. – No. 15 Miami rallied from an early deficit to edge the Duke baseball team, 4-3, Sunday afternoon in the series finale at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Duke (30-21, 15-12 ACC) led 3-1 after three but could not hold off the Hurricanes in the end. Miami (38-14, 15-12), winner of 25 of its past 27 games, tied the game with three-straight doubles in the sixth and took the lead on a Brandon Lopez RBI single in the eighth. The Blue Devils had a runner in scoring position in the eighth and the ninth, but closer Bryan Garcia worked out of the jam in both innings to secure his 14th save of the season.
The Blue Devils had a runner on base in all but one inning and stranded 10 for the game. Miami starter Bryan Radziewski (6-2) allowed three runs over the first three frames, but kept Duke off the board over his final four innings of work. The left-hander surrendered 10 hits, striking out four and walking one.
“We feel like we had our opportunities and didn’t take advantage of them,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “We had a lot of guys in scoring position and we just didn’t come up with the big hits. We did a great job of setting the table, just didn’t come up with the big two-out hit when we needed it. [Miami] did and that was the difference in the ball game.”
The Blue Devils took their first lead of the series in the second, aided by a Radziewski throwing error. Senior David Perkins laced a base hit through the right side to get the inning started before advancing to third following the errant pickoff attempt. Redshirt junior Mike Rosenfeld drove in the game’s opening run, sending a high chopper over third for this 26th RBI of the season. The single was one of two hits for Rosenfeld, who also added a two-out triple in the sixth.
Miami countered with an unearned run of its own the following frame. Dale Carey sent his second hit of the afternoon up the middle, scoring Brad Fieger who reached on catcher’s interference and took second on a Jacob Heyward sacrifice bunt. Carey ended the day 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI.
Senior Mark Lumpa started the bottom half with his 46th walk of the season before Radziewski hit junior Andy Perez with a pitch to place two runners on. Senior Jordan Betts then added his second single of the afternoon to load the bases. Redshirt junior Aaron Cohn delivered the clutch hit, driving Radziewski’s 0-2 pitch through the right side for a two-run single and 3-1 Duke lead.
After facing the minimum in both the fourth and fifth innings, Duke ran into trouble in the sixth. Carey, Tyler Palmer and Zack Collins began the frame with three-consecutive doubles, tying the game at 3-3. Duke starter Michael Matuella was able to minimize the damage, retiring the next three Miami batters. The sophomore right-hander exited the game after six complete frames, yielding three runs on five hits while striking out seven.
After facing the minimum the previous inning, Miami secured its first lead of the afternoon against reliever Andrew Istler (8-6). Palmer beat out an infield single and stole second before Willie Abreau also legged out an infield hit. With runners at the corners and two outs, Lopez delivered the RBI single to plate the game-winning run.
Carey and Palmer led Miami at the plate, combining for five hits, three runs and two RBI. Perez extended his hit streak to 12 games, adding three singles to help the Duke cause. During that span, Perez is hitting .417 and has raised his average from .214 to .275. Betts also amassed three hits in the contest for his sixth three-hit game of the season.
Duke concludes the non-conference portion of its schedule Tuesday, hosting Richmond at Jack Coombs Field at 6 p.m.