GREENSBORO, N.C. – Senior right-hander Drew Van Orden threw his first career shutout and the Blue Devils belted three home runs to defeat Georgia Tech 6-0 in ACC Tournament action Thursday afternoon at NewBridge Bank Park.
With the Blue Devils needing a win to stay alive in the tournament, Van Orden (6-5) scattered five hits while striking out eight batters and walking just one. Following a Daniel Spingola single in the third, Van Orden did not allow another hit until the eighth and retired 13 of the next 15 batters he faced. He struck out at least one batter in seven frames, including back-to-back strikeouts to conclude the seventh.
“Couldn't have come at a better time,” Van Orden said. “I struggled the last two weeks a little bit so it was good to try and come back and give the team everything I had and give them a chance to win. It was great out there. The defense played great behind me, and Coach called great pitches so everything was working.”
Redshirt senior Ryan Deitrich continued his hot streak at the plate, amassing a season-high four hits including his fourth home run in as many games. Over Duke’s past four contests, Deitrich batting is a torrid .625 (10-of-16) with four home runs, two doubles and nine RBI.
“We got very timely hitting, (and) we were very good with our situational hitting,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “I thought our approach was very good, especially a day after I didn't think our approach was very good (in Wednesday’s 5-3 loss to Clemson). I thought our guys really responded. We had one of the most dialed in rounds of BP today I can remember us having, and guys worked hard to make adjustments. I think it carried over on the field with 14 hits.”
Deitrich opened the scoring in the top of the second, driving his team-best ninth home run of the season off the scoreboard.
Up 1-0, Perez added a solo home run of his own the next inning to give Duke the 2-0 cushion. Two frames later, Betts got in on the action, blasting his fifth homer of the year to left. The Betts’ bomb also scored Lumpa, who drew his 50th walk to leadoff the frame.
The four runs proved to be ample offense for Van Orden as the Manhattan Beach, Calif., native worked out of a jam in the eighth. Following a Brandon Gold double and Spingola walk, Van Orden fanned Matt Gonzalez for the final out to stranding runners at second and third.
Duke tacked on insurance runs in the both the eighth and ninth innings. Senior Matt Berezo singled and scored on Lumpa’s RBI double in the eighth before Deitrich drove in Betts with an RBI base hit in the ninth. Betts began the final frame with a leadoff double, his 20th of the season and 69th of his career.
Van Orden then closed out the game, facing four batters in the ninth. A.J. Murray singled with one out, but Van Orden sat down the next two Yellow Jackets to seal the victory.
Ben Parr (5-4) started on the mound for Georgia Tech and took the loss. The left-hander allowed eight hits and a pair of earned runs before departing with one out in the sixth. Three relievers combined to yield six hits and the final four Duke runs.
Duke closes out pool play Saturday, May 22, taking on Miami at 11 a.m. from NewBridge Bank Park.