DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils won both games of a double-header against Holy Cross on Saturday at Jack Coombs Field, routing the Crusaders, 13-1, in game one before erasing a five-run deficit in game two for a 10-7 victory. The Blue Devils improve to 12-1 on the season while the Crusaders fall to 1-4.
In game one, Duke jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Second baseman Ryan McCurdy singled to right to start the inning before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Jonathan Anderson. Right fielder Jimmy Gallagher then laced an RBI-single to right to score McCurdy. After first baseman Nate Freiman was hit by a pitch, Gallagher and Freiman executed a double steal to give the Blue Devils two runners in scoring position. Catcher Matt Williams responded with a two-run single down the right field line, scoring Gallagher and Freiman. Two batters later, left fielder Alexander Hassan lined a two-out RBI-double off the top of the left field wall to score Williams. After Hassan advanced to third on a passed ball and shortstop Gabriel Saade drew a walk, third baseman Jonathan Foreman capped off the frame with an RBI-single through the right side, scoring Hassan.
The Blue Devils took an 8-0 lead with a three-run fourth inning. Gallagher and Freiman hit back-to-back doubles to give Duke runners at second and third to begin the inning. Williams followed with a two-run double off the top of the left field wall, scoring Gallagher and Freiman. After Hassan moved Williams to third with a single to right field, Saade lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Williams, giving the Blue Devils the eight-run advantage.
Duke added a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 10-0. McCurdy led off the inning with a single through the right side. Anderson then reached on a bunt single, moving McCurdy to second. Gallagher followed with an RBI-single to right to score McCurdy. Two batters later, Anderson advanced to third on a fly ball to center by Williams. Anderson then scored on a Holy Cross error to cap the frame.
The Blue Devils took an 11-0 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Foreman hit a one-out double to right before moving to third on a single to center by McCurdy. Anderson then laced an RBI-single to left to score Foreman.
A two-run seventh inning pushed Duke’s lead to 13-0. Freshman Michael Ghizzoni came in to pinch hit and drew a walk before advancing to second on a passed ball to start the inning. After freshman Christopher Manno drew another walk, Saade singled to center to load the bases. Foreman then brought Ghizzoni home with a sacrifice fly to right. McCurdy capped the inning with an RBI-single to right field, scoring Manno.
Holy Cross got an RBI-triple from John Sills in the top of the eighth for their only run of the game.
McCurdy led the Blue Devils at the plate in game one, going 5-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Gallagher went 3-for-5 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored, Williams was 2-for-5 with a double, four RBI and two runs scored and Foreman finished 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. Hassan went 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and a run scored, Anderson was 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, Freiman finished 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored, Saade went 1-for-4 with an RBI and Manno was 1-for-1 with a run scored.
Senior Tony Bajoczky improved to 3-0 on the season, holding the Crusaders to four hits in six scoreless innings. Bajoczky also struck out four batters in the win. Freshman Will Currier registered three strikeouts and gave up one run on one hit in two innings of relief and junior Ron Causey pitched a scoreless ninth for the Blue Devils.
In game two, Holy Cross scored four runs on four hits in the top of the second to take a 4-0 lead. The Crusaders then added an unearned run in the top of the fourth to go ahead 5-0.
Duke got on the board in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 5-1 ballgame. First baseman Jeremy Gould doubled down the right field line to start the inning. After Saade drew a walk, Gould advanced to third on a fly ball to center by Foreman. McCurdy then reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Gould to score from third.
The Blue Devils added a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Holy Cross lead to 5-3. Gallagher singled through the left side to lead off the frame. After Gallagher stole second with two outs, Hassan sent an RBI-single to left to score Gallagher. Gould then drew a walk to give Duke runners on first and second. Hassan then scored from second base on a passed ball to make it a two-run ballgame.
Duke then exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh to take a 10-5 lead. Foreman doubled down the right field line to start the inning before moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by McCurdy. After Anderson was hit by a pitch and Gallagher walked to load the bases, Freiman beat out a double play ball that would have ended the inning, allowing Foreman to score and keeping the comeback alive. Williams followed with an RBI-single to right, scoring Anderson and advancing Freiman to third. Hassan then drew a walk to load the bases for the second time in the inning. Gould followed with a two-run single to left, scoring Freiman and Williams. Saade capped off the inning with a three-run blast to left for his first career home run.
The Crusaders added a pair of runs in the top of the eighth to make it a 10-7 ballgame but that was as close as they would get to reclaiming the lead.
Gould went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI and two runs scored to pace the Blue Devils at the plate. Foreman finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and a run scored, Saade was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and McCurdy, Freiman, Williams and Hassan all drove in runs for Duke in the win.
Freshman Michael Ness improved to 3-0 on the season, holding the Crusaders to one earned run on two hits in 3.1 innings of relief. Freshman Michael Seander held off a Holy Cross rally late in the eighth inning and Anderson pitched a scoreless ninth to pick up his second save of the season.
The Blue Devils will wrap up their three-game series with the Crusaders tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Jack Coombs Field. Duke will then play a pair of non-conference games next week, hosting Temple on Tuesday and Xavier on Wednesday. Both games are set for a 3 p.m. start. The Blue Devils will open ACC play against Boston College next weekend at home.