DURHAM, N.C. – No. 17 Duke secured the first 40-win season in program history, winning a marathon, 13-inning contest, 6-2, over Wake Forest Thursday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Wake Forest (25-32) took the early lead, but Duke (40-14) received eight shutout innings from the bullpen then plated four in the 13th to earn the win.
The Blue Devil bullpen was dominant with four relievers combining for 14 strikeouts over eight innings, while yielding just three hits and one walk. Graeme Stinson allowed a lone baserunner in 3.1 frames, while Bryce Jarvis (5-1) retired all nine batters he faced from the 10th-12th to earn the win.
Wake Forest struck first as Bobby Seymour sent a two-out, two-run double off the Blue Monster to plate DJ Poteet and Patrick Frick, who both walked to start the inning.
Duke would shut out Wake Forest the remaining 10 frames, giving the offense a chance to the game and gain the lead. Starter Ryan Day grinded out five innings in the no decision before turning the game over to the bullpen.
Demon Deacon starter Griffin Roberts took a no hitter into the fifth before Duke picked up a pair of singles in the frame. After Joey Loperfido walked, Kennie Taylor bounced an infield single to the left side before Jack Labosky poked an RBI base knock through the 5-6 hole with two outs.
The two teams traded zeroes down the stretch to force extra innings. Duke was not without chances in the latter innings as the Blue Devils had the go-ahead run thrown out at the plate in the ninth, then loaded the bases with nobody out in the 10th before Wake Forest worked out of the jam unscathed.
The Blue Devils’s decisive 13th inning began with a Conine leadoff single and continued when Wake Forest reliever Antonio Menendez (0-5) hit both Kennie Taylor and Michael Rothenberg. Labosky and Jimmy Herron coaxed back-to-back walks to put Duke up a pair before Chris Proctor singled up the middle to knock in two.
Duke returns to action at 11 a.m., Friday, May 24 against fifth-seeded Louisville with the winner advancing to Saturday’s semifinal against 12-seed Pittsburgh.