CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Tied 2-2 at the conclusion of nine innings, Duke churned out three 10th-inning runs on five hits to grind out a 5-2 victory Monday evening at Mark Light Field.
Down to its final out in the 10th, Duke (17-17, 6-9 ACC) received four straight singles from Chris Proctor, Jimmy Herron, Zack Kone and Griffin Conine to take a 5-2 lead. Junior Jack Labosky (2-2) pitched the final two frames to earn the win.
“I challenged our team to be the tougher team,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “To give up the lead in the bottom of the eighth, to have to hold on in the bottom of the ninth to win an extra inning game on the road with four two-out hits for the go-ahead runs … we really showed ourselves how tough we are and how well we can compete.”
Blue Devil starter Ryan Day was outstanding in seven shutout innings, limiting Miami to one single. In the no decision, Day struck out six and did not walk a batter, facing the minimum in five of his seven frames. Day did not allow a Hurricane to reach scoring position and kept the ball down in the zone to generate 13 groundball outs.
“Tremendous outing by Ryan Day when we really needed it,” Pollard said. “That’s about as good as you can throw the baseball. That’s the beauty of what a guy on the mound can do for you when you’re scuffling. When the guy on the mound steps up and says ‘I’ll put the team on my back here for seven innings. It gives everybody a lift.”
Day’s counterpart, Michael Mediavilla, lasted 5.2 innings before giving way to the bullpen. Mediavilla gave up two runs on four hits and walked a career-high five. Andrew Cabezas followed with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief before Frankie Bartow (1-2) assumed the mound. Bartow kept Duke off the board in the ninth, but yielded three runs on four hits in the 10th.
Seven of Duke’s 11 hits came from the bottom half of the Blue Devil order. Sophomore Kennie Taylor went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while classmate Chris Proctor was 3-for-5 with a double, a run and an RBI.
“Kennie had a terrific ballgame,” Pollard added. “He got that whole thing started in the 10th. He was really, really good for us when we really needed it. Chris Proctor really played his game. He didn’t try to do too much. He hit the ball to all fields.”
A Taylor leadoff double kicked off Duke’s two-run second. Junior Max Miller followed with a walk before Justin Bellinger advanced the runners on a sacrifice bunt. Chris Proctor’s infield single and Herron’s grounder to the right side plated the first two runs of the evening.
Duke had at least one runner reach in each of the next four frames, but was unable to extend the margin further. The Blue Devils went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position before breaking out in the 10th.
Miami wasted little time tying the game following Day’s departure. Christopher Barr roped an RBI double down the right field line and Randy Batista bounced an RBI base hit inside the left field line to knot the score, 2-2.
Neither team could break the stalemate in the ninth. With two outs and a runner at first, Duke recorded four consecutive straight singles to regain the advantage. Herron, Kone and Conine followed a Proctor base hit with RBI knocks of their own to put the Blue Devils up, 5-2. Labosky then took care of the rest with a scoreless bottom half.
Duke resumes play Wednesday, April 12 at Campbell before hosting Boston College in an ACC series at Jack Coombs Field Friday-Sunday.