ATLANTA – Junior Griffin Conine homered twice to help No. 10 Duke defeat Georgia Tech 12-5 in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium. With the win, the Blue Devils matched the program record for victories in a season (39) set in 1993 and 1996.
Conine’s first longball surpassed the batter’s eye in straightaway center in the second before he lifted a fourth-inning shot to right. Conine reached base in all five of his plate appearances, scored four runs and knocked in five RBI. With his performance today, Conine became the second Blue Devil in the past 20 years to belt 15 or more home runs in a season and the first since Nate Freiman in 2009.
Duke (39-14, 18-11 ACC) did the bulk of the damage with two outs, registering nine of its 14 hits with two away. Joey Loperfido started it off with a two-out, two-run single in the first before Conine blasted the first of his two home runs with two gone in the second. Five-straight Blue Devils also reached with two outs in the sixth, leading to a three-run frame.
Duke scored five runs the first two frames, but in similar fashion to the first two games of the series, Georgia Tech put together a third-inning rally. The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases with nobody out before freshman Bryce Jarvis took over on the mound with one away. Jarvis proceeded to strike out Joey Bart then got a fielder’s choice to end the threat.
Jarvis (4-1) would work 2.2 innings in relief to earn the win. He allowed one run on two hits and two walks with four strikeouts.
After escaping the third with minimal damage, Kone looped an RBI single to right before Conine drove a second ball over the fence as part of a three-run fourth. Duke added three runs in the sixth as well and plated a final tally in the eighth.
Brant Hurter (5-4) suffered the loss after yielding five runs on five hits over 2.0 innings.
Duke enters the 2018 ACC Championship, which runs May 22-27 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, as the No. 4 seed. The ACC is set to release the complete tournament schedule Sunday morning.