CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Junior Jack Labosky belted two three-run homers the first two innings to instigate an offensive onslaught that propelled Duke past No. 20 Virginia, 19-3, Friday evening at Davenport Field.
Duke (13-11, 4-3 ACC) scored 10 runs on 12 hits the first three frames to stake an early advantage. For the game, the Blue Devils hit four home runs, plated at least one run in seven innings and had multiple hits in all but two stanzas. All starting nine had at least one hit and scored at least one run.
Labosky finished the day with the two bombs and six RBI, leading a led a group of six Blue Devils to accrue multiple hits. Center fielder Jimmy Herron and shortstop Zack Kone both went 4-for-6 while second baseman Max Miller, right fielder Griffin Conine and catcher Chris Proctor had three hits apiece to help Duke total a season-high 26 for the game.
“We just barreled up a lot of baseballs,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “We faced some really good arms, but we just found the barrel all day long. I really liked that we never took our foot off the gas pedal. Even late, we continued to stay in our approach.”
Duke jumped on UVA starter Daniel Lynch (4-2) early with a three-run first. Labosky lifted Lynch’s 3-1 offering over the wall in left center, scoring Kone and Conine who both singled with one out.
The Cavaliers’ Adam Haseley registered a solo shot in the bottom half to provide an answer for the Virginia (17-6, 2-5 ACC), but the Blue Devils greeted the second with three straight singles before Labosky launched a second ball into the left field seats, extending the margin to 7-1.
To start the third, Kone notched an RBI single and Conine laced a two-run double to balloon the lead, 10-1.
Virginia added single runs in the third and fifth innings, but could not keep pace with the Blue Devils. Graduate student Jalen Phillips capped a five-run seventh with a three-run shot off the right field foul pole and Conine drilled Duke’s fourth home run of the day in the eighth.
Duke starter Mitch Stallings (2-2) worked a career-high seven innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
“Mitch did exactly what you’re supposed to do in that situation,” Pollard added. “He pounded the zone and forced contact.”
Duke and Virginia reunite for game two of the series Saturday, March 25. First pitch between the Blue Devils and the Cavaliers is set for 1 p.m., as left-hander Adam Laskey takes the mound opposite righty Evan Sperling.