DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team used a standout pitching effort combined with timely offense to claim a doubleheader sweep over Boston College Saturday at Harrington Athletic Village. With the pair of wins, the Blue Devils take the series, marking their fourth consecutive ACC series win.
“We were extremely tough,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “They’re a team that can put pressure on you in a lot of different ways, and to limit that team in their home ballpark to one run over 18 innings was incredibly impressive. I’m really proud of our club.”
Duke (27-17, 13-11 ACC) posted a 4-1 win in game one before capping the day with an 8-0 shutout victory in game two against Boston College (22-24, 8-16 ACC) to clinch the series. The Blue Devils held the Eagles to only one run on the day, outscoring Boston College a combined 12-1 across both games of the twinbill.
The Blue Devils will take the upcoming week off for exams before returning to the diamond next Sunday, May 5, for a doubleheader against VCU. The two teams are set for a noon first pitch at Jack Coombs Field, with coverage airing live on ACC Network Extra.
For more information on Duke baseball, follow the Blue Devils on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by searching for “DukeBaseball”. You can also find all-access coverage of all Duke athletic programs on SnapChat by searching for “dukeathletics”.
Duke 4, Boston College 1 (Game One)
The Blue Devils began the day’s scoring in game one of the twinbill, capitalizing on a trio Boston College errors to plate three runs. With one down in the inning, senior Kennie Taylor was hit by a pitch before junior Matt Mervis reached on an error by the second baseman to place runners on first and second. After graduate student Kyle Gallagher drew a walk to load the bases, junior Chase Cheek sent a sacrifice fly to left field to cross the game’s first run. After freshman Ethan Murray reached on a throwing error by the third baseman to load the bases for a second time in the inning, another fielding miscue by the Eagles allowed two more runs to cross to give Duke a 3-0 lead after a half-inning of play.
Boston College plated its lone run of the contest in the sixth to make it a 3-1 contest. The Eagles used a leadoff solo home run from Jack Cunningham to move into the scoring column.
Duke responded in the very next half with a run of its own to add insurance to its lead. After junior Erikson Nichols began the frame with a single to left center, sophomore Chris Crabtree reached on a fielder’s choice, resulting in Nichols being out at second. Sophomore Joey Loperfido drew a walk to place runners on first and second before Taylor reached on an infield single to load the bases. A sacrifice fly in the next at-bat from Mervis allowed one run to cross to set the score at 4-1, the eventual final.
The Blue Devils used a trio of arms in the contest, starting with junior left-hander Bill Chillari. The southpaw worked 4.1 scoreless innings, allowing three hits and four walks while recording a pair of strikeouts. Freshman Jack Carey (3-0) tossed the next 2.2 frames to earn his third win of the season, allowing one earned run on two hits and one walk while striking out a pair. Sophomore Thomas Girard slammed the door for his seventh save of the season, covering the final 2.0 innings, retiring all six batters he faced, including three via strikeout.
Duke 8, Boston College 0 (Game Two)
Duke struck first again in game two, picking up a single tally in the fourth to grab a 1-0 lead. With one down, Murray drew a walk before sophomore Michael Rothenberg sent a single through the right side to place runners on the corners. In the next at-bat, Nichols lined a RBI single to center field to cross the game’s first run.
The Blue Devils returned to score four runs across the fifth and sixth innings, starting with one run in the fifth. Taylor began things with a leadoff single right field, before Mervis reached on a fielder’s choice, resulting in Taylor being out at second. One out later, Cheek collected his second hit of the day with a double to left field. With runners on second and third, a balk by the Boston College pitcher allowed one run to cross to push Duke’s lead to 2-0.
With one down in the sixth, the Blue Devils loaded the bases with three consecutive walks to Nichols, freshman Rudy Maxwell and Loperfido. After the Eagles made a call to their bullpen, Taylor greeted the new arm with a RBI single to right field, allowing a pair of runs to score. Mervis used the next at-bat to send a sacrifice fly to center field to score another run and increase the lead to 5-0.
Duke added insurance in the eighth with another three-run inning to pad its lead. Loperfido led off the frame with a single through the left side before Taylor ripped a RBI triple to left center to score one. In the next at-bat, Mervis collected his second RBI of the contest with a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Taylor. One out later, Cheek singled to right field before advancing into scoring position on a stolen base. After Murray reached on an infield single to place runners on the corners, Rothenberg sent a single to left field to score the third run of the inning and set the score at 8-0.
The Blue Devils used a combination of four arms in the ballgame to post their fifth shutout of the season, with freshman Cooper Stinson making the start. Stinson worked 4.0 scoreless innings, yielding three hits and four walks while striking out six. Sophomore Bryce Jarvis (3-0) picked up his third win of the season, going 3.0 innings, surrendering three hits and two walks while collecting three strikeouts. The duo of senior Hunter Davis and junior Eli Herrick worked the final 2.0 frames, with Davis tossing a third of an inning and allowing two hits. Herrick covered the remaining 1.2 innings, surrendering only one hit while striking out one.
Offensively, Duke was led by Taylor and Cheek, who each with career-high four-hit ballgames. Taylor added a triple and a team-high three RBI, while Cheek recorded a double and one run scored. The trio of Loperfido, Rothenberg and Nichols also posted multi-hit efforts, each finishing with two hits apiece.