DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team overpowered North Carolina A&T 12-2 Tuesday evening in non-conference action at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils totaled 14 hits and took advantage of 10 walks and four hit batters by the Aggie pitching staff in the decisive victory.
Duke (22-17, 8-10 ACC) did most of the damage in the third and fourth innings, scoring a combined 11 runs in the two frames. Five Blue Devils registered two or more hits on the night, led by senior Jeff Kremer’s fourth three-hit game of the season.
In addition, third baseman Jordan Betts, left fielder Mark Lumpa, catcher Ryan Munger and second baseman Angelo La Bruna added two hits apiece. Lumpa reached base in five of his six plate appearances, going 2-for-3 with three walks, two runs scored and an RBI.
Freshman RHP Michael Matuella (4-2) allowed two runs – one earned – over 5.2 innings to pick up his fourth victory of the season. The Great Falls, Va., native walked two and scattered four hits against the Aggies.
Sophomores Sarkis Ohanian, Remy Janco and Andrew Istler combined to throw 3.1 scoreless innings in relief as North Carolina A&T registered just one hit over the latter innings.
Similar to the two teams’ first meeting this season, North Carolina A&T took an early 1-0 lead. Left fielder Dairio Little reached on an error, stole second and scored on a Brandon Wilkerson RBI single up the middle in the top of the second.
The 1-0 Aggie advantage held until the bottom of the third when Duke sent seven runs across the plate. Munger began the frame with a triple to left and A&T starter Shane Carter hit the next two batters to load the bases. A walk to Kremer tied the game at one-all before a throwing error on a Grant McCabe fielder’s choice plated a pair. A Betts RBI double and Lumpa RBI single scored two more before La Bruna lifted a sacrifice fly to drive in the final run of the frame.
Carter gave up six runs on five hits in 2.1 innings of work to take the loss for North Carolina A&T.
Catcher Stefan Jordan doubled with two out in the top of the fourth and scored on a Mark Nales base hit to put the Aggies’ second run on the board.
North Carolina A&T (13-24, 7-7 MEAC) would come no closer, however, as the Duke offense kept at it with a four-run fourth to take a commanding 11-2 lead. Kremer led off with his second base hit of the game and A&T issued two walks to load the bases with one out. A Kenny Koplove two-run single, David Perkins sacrifice fly and Munger RBI double accounted for Duke’s four runs in the frame.
Duke added its 12th run in the bottom of the sixth on a Kremer RBI single to left center.
The Blue Devils return to ACC action this weekend as Duke takes on No. 1 North Carolina in a three-game series in Chapel Hill, N.C. First pitch of game one is slated for a 6 p.m., start Friday, April 19.