DURHAM, N.C. – Sophomore right-hander Robert Huber tossed seven shutout innings but Clemson scored four times off the Duke bullpen in the eighth to defeat the Blue Devils 4-2 on Sunday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
Huber held the Tigers to just five hits, while the seven frames matched his career high for innings pitched. By holding Clemson scoreless, Huber dropped his season ERA to 3.43.
Huber had 1-2-3 innings in the second and sixth frames. He allowed only two Clemson base runners to reach third, while three others got to second.
Clemson starter Kevin Pohle was perfect through the first five innings, picking up four strikeouts during that stretch.
Third baseman Jordan Betts broke up Pohle’s perfect game with a leadoff double to left in the bottom of the sixth. Betts then moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Grant McCabe. Shortstop Angelo La Bruna then sent a sacrifice fly to center to drive in the game’s first run.
First baseman Andy Perez led off the seventh with a walk. Catcher Mike Rosenfeld then lined an 0-2 pitch to center. Both runners would move up a base on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms. Second baseman Mark Lumpa followed with an RBI-single through the right side to score Perez, giving the Blue Devils a 2-0 lead.
Trailing 2-0 entering the eighth, Clemson (18-14, 8-7 ACC) got back-to-back singles from third baseman Richie Shaffer and designated hitter Phil Pohl. A walk to first baseman Jon McGibbon loaded the bases. Left fielder Jay Baum followed with a three-run double to the wall in right center to give the Tigers their first lead of the game. Baum would later score on a sacrifice fly to account for the final margin.
Duke would make it interesting in the ninth but could not score. Perez had a one-out single through the left side of the infield. Two batters later, Piwnica-Worms sent a two-out double to the wall in right to give the Blue Devils a pair of runners in scoring position. Clemson reliever Daniel Gossett then got Lumpa to ground out to end the game.
Pohle (4-1) earned the win thanks to the four-run Tiger eighth. Pohle held Duke to two runs on four hits in seven innings of work. Gossett picked up his second save of the season after holding the Blue Devils scoreless over the final two innings.
Lumpa finished 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Perez and Betts were both 1-for-3 with a run scored. Betts, Piwnica-Worms and designated hitter Jeff Kremer all doubled for Duke (13-20, 5-10 ACC), while La Bruna had an RBI and Rosenfeld added a hit.
Andrew Istler (2-3) suffered the loss after giving up the four runs in the eighth.
Duke returns to action on Tuesday when they host UNC Greensboro at 6 p.m. at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils will then travel to Maryland for a three-game series next weekend.