DURHAM, N.C. – A two-out single from Patrick Frick in the top of the 12th inning lifted Wake Forest to a 5-4 victory against Duke on Sunday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Blue Devils trailed 3-0 and 4-2 before evening the score at 4-4 in the sixth. Both teams went scoreless over the five frames before Frick delivered Logan Harvey with the final run to give the Demon Deacons the series victory.
After knotting the contest in the sixth, Duke (13-11, 3-6 ACC) had at least one base runner on in five of the last six frames, but could not scratch the scoreboard again. The Blue Devils stranded 10 during the contest and hit into three double plays, including one to end the contest.
On the mound, a strong showing by the Blue Devil bullpen kept the game going. Junior Bill Chillari got the start and allowed four runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks in the first 4.2 innings, while collecting four strikeouts. Junior Eli Herrick was exceptional over season-long tying three frames of two-hit relief. He yielded a pair of free passes and fanned seven. Sophomore Thomas Girard (0-3) took the loss, throwing a career-high 3.2 innings and giving up one run on four hits, one walk and four whiffs. Freshman Kyle Salley walked the only batter he faced and classmate Jack Carey allowed one hit in recording the final two outs.
Wake Forest starter Morgan McSweeney lasted 5.1 frames, surrendering four runs, three earned, on three hits, four walks and three strikeouts. Bobby Hearn recorded one out, a whiff, and gave up a hit and walk. Antonio Menendez lasted the next two innings, giving up two hits and a walk with one strikeout. William Fleming went the next 2.1 with a hit, walk and two strikeouts. Ryan Cusick (3-1) picked up the win, covering two hitless innings with a walk and whiff.
After two quiet frames, Wake Forest (15-10, 5-4 ACC) broke through in the top of the third for a 3-0 advantage. The Demon Deacons loaded the bases to start the inning on a walk to DJ Poteet, a bunt single from Jake Mueller and a throwing error on a Frick bunt attempt. Chris Lanzilli hit a sacrifice fly to left that delivered Poteet. Bobby Seymour followed with a single through the right side to plate Mueller for a two-run cushion. Frick had moved to third on the Seymour single and came home on a Shane Muntz groundout to first base. A whiff ended the inning.
Duke scored its first runs in the fourth to make it a 3-2 contest. Sophomore Michael Rothenberg walked to start the inning. After a strikeout, junior Erikson Nichols singled off the forearm of McSweeney for his team-high 13th hit in ACC play, putting runners on first and second with one down. A wild pitch moved both runners up a base. Junior Matt Mervis delivered Rothenberg with an RBI groundout to first base. Three pitches later, a passed ball allowed Nichols to score. A groundout ended the inning.
The Demon Deacons had a quick reply as Brendan Tinsman homered with one out in the top of the fifth to push their lead back to two runs at 4-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, Duke answered again and got a run back to trail 4-3. Freshman Ethan Murray led off with a walk, moved to second on a groundout and scored on sophomore Chris Crabtree’s single to right. A fielder’s choice and groundout closed the frame.
It was the sixth that had the Blue Devils even the contest at 4-4 thanks to a Murray single. Freshman Rudy Maxwell led off with a walk and, two outs later, moved to second on another free pass, this one to junior Chase Cheek. Murray then singled to right to drive in Maxwell and even the scoreboard. A whiff ended the threat and left a pair of runners on base.
Wake Forest tried to mount a two-out rally in the top of the eighth, but was held off the board. After a pair of strikeouts started the frame, Mueller singled to right and Frick doubled to left to put runners on second and third. Girard entered to face Lanzilli and retired him on a strikeout.
Following the Blue Devils’ defensive stand, the Demon Deacons held their own and kept the score even at 4-4. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, Mervis dropped a single into center, Cheek walked and Murray was hit by a pitch. A groundout ended the threat.
Girard held again in the top of the ninth. Seymour led off with a double, but was thrown out at third on a sacrifice bunt attempt from Michael Ludowig. Michael Turconi picked up Ludowig with a single to right that moved Ludowig to third with one out. Girard buckled down with consecutive strikeouts that stranded the pair.
After both teams stranded a runner in the 10th and did not leave any in the 11th, Wake Forest broke through in the top of the 12th for a 5-4 advantage. Harvey led off with a walk and moved to second on Bruce Steel’s sacrifice bunt. Poteet walked before a fly out set up Frick’s hit.
Duke also led off the 12th with a free pass, but a foul ball on a bunted third strike went as the first out before a lineout into a double play ended the game.
The Blue Devils return to the diamond Tuesday with a 6 p.m. contest at Davidson. Last month, Duke downed the Wildcats 7-3 inside Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
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