ATHENS, Ga. – A four-run third spurred Troy to a 6-0 victory over No. 18 Duke to open play at the NCAA Athens Regional Friday evening at Foley Field.
Sun Belt Player of the Year Joey Denison notched two hits with the bases loaded to help Troy to a 5-0 lead over Duke before inclement weather delayed the game for over five hours. The Trojans tacked on another run following the interruption, while relief pitcher Corey Childress allowed three hits over 6.0 innings to thwart a Duke comeback.
The Blue Devils suffered just their second shutout of the season and first since March 10 against Virginia.
Starter Ryan Day pitched two hitless innings before Troy struck for four in the third. Manning Early began the rally with a single and was the first of four straight Trojans to reach with one out. Denison’s bases-clearing double did the bulk of the damage before Brody Binder’s RBI double accounted for Troy’s fifth hit and fourth run of the inning.
Day (5-4) did not escape the third in the loss, giving up four runs on four hits in 2.1 innings.
Troy added single runs in both the fourth and the sixth to extend the lead.
Duke had its chances to put runs on the board, stranding runners at the corners in both the second and the third. The Blue Devils were unable to solve Childress, who totaled a career-high nine strikeouts while allowing three Duke baserunners the final six frames.
The weather delay also forced a postponement of the nightcap between host Georgia and Campbell until Saturday, June 2, at 12 p.m. Duke will face the loser of that contest at 4 p.m., Saturday at Foley Field while the winner takes on Troy at 8 p.m.