DURHAM, N.C. – Pitchers Graeme Stinson, Bryce Jarvis, Matt Mervis and Bill Chillari combined on a one-hit shutout to help Duke down Presbyterian, 8-0, Tuesday evening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The Blue Devils’ pitching quartet also combined to strike out 15 batters while issuing just three walks. Duke (21-5, 6-3 ACC) did not allow a Presbyterian (7-19, 2-4 Big South) hit until A.J. Preiaulx’s seventh-inning single, then did not permit another baserunner the rest of the way.
Stinson started the day with three scoreless innings in a planned split, striking out four. Jarvis (1-0) retired all nine batters he faced with six punchouts to earn his first collegiate victory. Mervis then pitched two scoreless frames before Chillari fanned the side in the ninth to complete the shutout.
“It was a great combined effort,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “Graeme [Stinson] set a tone in the first inning. Bryce [Jarvis], that was his most effective outing he’s had so far. The difference was the fact that [Jarvis] had his changeup. When he’s got that pitch, he’s got two legitimate swing-and-miss pitches. I was proud of Matt [Mervis]. Matt was feeling for it a little bit and we made some plays for him defensively. Then he went out his second inning and really built off that. Established that split-change and was able to produce some swings and misses. Bill Chillari was great there at the end. Swings and misses on his changeup and his slider.”
Duke’s defense played well in support of the pitching staff. Third baseman Jack Labosky and center fielder Kennie Taylor both robbed the Blue Hose of hits while the Blue Devils overall played errorless defense for the 11th time this season.
“It’s fun to pitch when you have guys playing that type of defense behind you,” Pollard added.
On offense, the Blue Devils recorded a season-high 15 hits, led by freshman Joey Loperfido’s four-hit performance. Jack Labosky, Griffin Conine and Max Miller contributed two hits each, while nine different Blue Devils had at least one base knock.
Three two-out singles in the bottom of the first plated the game’s opening run before Labosky’s two-run double in the third extended the lead. Conine and Miller both singled to start the fifth, ultimately scoring on a balk and sacrifice fly, respectively.
Conine and Miller struck again in the seventh as both notched RBI base hits to push Duke’s lead to 7-0. In the eighth, freshman Michael Rothenberg laced a leadoff single before classmate Tyler Wardwell knocked a single for his first career RBI.
“Our pitching and defense was good, but I thought that was as good as we’ve swung the bat all year,” Pollard said. “We ran the bases well, too. We were able to advance guys when we were supposed to. Situational approach was good. We did a good job with two outs. There’s a lot of positives in this outing tonight.”
Duke resumes ACC play this weekend, welcoming Notre Dame to the DBAP Friday-Sunday, March30-April 1.