SURPRISE, Ariz. – Duke fell to No. 7 Oregon State, 11-2, Sunday morning at Surprise Stadium to close out the Sanderson Ford Spring Training College Classic.
Duke (0-4) kept the game close through six until Oregon State (3-0) broke it open with a five-run seventh. The Beavers totaled 14 hits – 12 singles – while the Blue Devils received five hits.
“We continued to have more chances than we took advantage off offensively,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “That’s the bottom line. We’re getting guys on base. We’ve hit into a lot of double plays.”
After falling behind early in each of its first three games, Duke was able to strike first against the Beavers Sunday. Sophomore Jimmy Herron reached via an OSU fielding error and advanced to third on Max Miller’s single. Junior Jack Labosky then lined an RBI single to center to plate the game’s opening run.
Duke’s one-run lead was brief, erased by three OSU first-inning tallies. Following a Blue Devil fielding miscue, the Beavers came up with four singles to gain the lead.
“The first inning was a little bit emblematic of the whole weekend for us,” Pollard said. “Lot of ground ball soft contact. Four ground ball singles, two tipped off of gloves. It was one of those weekends.”
Oregon State then capitalized on shortstop Caydn Grenier’s leadoff triple in the second, securing a sacrifice fly to bring in a fourth run.
After missing the 2016 campaign due to Tommy John surgery, OSU right-hander Sam Tweedt (1-0) settled in following the first. Tweedt did not allow a Duke hit from the second to the sixth frames in the quality start, allowing one unearned run on two hits with three strikeouts.
Duke right-hander Ryan Day (0-1) made his first start since 2015 and also found a rhythm following the early innings. Day allowed four of his five runs – two unearned – over the first two frames, setting down 11 consecutive Beaver batters until back-to-back singles in the sixth. A Zak Taylor sacrifice fly then plated OSU’s fifth run.
“Ryan gave us a good start,” Pollard said. “He really settled in after [the first] and pitched well. Had three pitches working. His location was good. I liked the way he attacked the zone. I thought it was a good start to build off of.”
Oregon State broke the game open in the seventh, sending five runs around on five singles, two walks and a Duke error to put the game out of reach.
Duke scratched across a second run in the ninth. Zack Kone was struck by a pitch and ultimately scored on Kennie Taylor’s sacrifice fly to right.
“[There’s] still plenty to be encouraged about,” Pollard added. “We have to get back, regroup a little bit, lick our wounds and get back to work.”
Duke returns to Durham to face crosstown foe North Carolina Central at 4 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the Durham Athletic Park.