DURHAM, N.C. - Junior Mike Rosenfeld was 3-for-3 with three RBI as the Duke baseball team scored five runs combined in the seventh and eighth to turn a one-run deficit into an 8-6 victory over Towson Sunday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Rosenfeld was one of four Blue Devils to register multiple hits in the game as Duke totaled a season-high 13 on the day. Senior Jeff Kremer was 2-for-2 with a double, three walks, two runs scored and an RBI, while redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini went 2-for-3 with a solo home run in the second.
Duke trailed Towson 4-3 entering the bottom of the seventh, but rallied for two runs in the frame to take the lead. Kremer drew his third walk of the afternoon to start things off and scored on a Rosenfeld double to left to tie the game at 4-4. After Towson intentionally walked Marconcini, left fielder Andrew Istler knocked a base hit through the left side to plate the go-ahead run.
The Blue Devil bats continued to stay hot in the bottom of the eighth as three Duke runs crossed the plate. Three consecutive singles loaded the bases for Rosenfeld, who picked up his third RBI of the afternoon with a sac fly to center. A double off the bat of Jordan Betts, who turned in a 2-for-5 performance Sunday, and a single to right from Marconcini brought home the final two Duke runs, bolstering the Blue Devil lead to 8-4 heading into the final frame.
Towson pushed two across in the ninth but was unable to overcome the four-run Duke advantage.
"[Towson] had an answer for each time we scored and ultimately we got the last shot in," said head coach Chris Pollard. "I was proud of our club. I thought it was a great bounce-back win. That's a really good baseball team that we played over three games."
The Blue Devils put the first run on the board in the second as Marconcini homered for the second straight game, lifting a 1-1 pitch over the wall in left center.
A three-run third put Towson on top as costly walks came back to haunt the Blue Devils. Dominic Fratantuono's two-RBI triple scored Pat Fitzgerald and Brendon Butler, who had both walked to start the frame. Fratantuono would later score after Kurt Wertz got in a run down after also reaching via walk.
After a bases loaded walk scored Duke's second run of the day, Rosenfeld lined a single to left to tie the game 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth. Towson once again answered, this time with a pair of doubles and a run in the top of the sixth to make it a 4-3 game before Duke rallied late.
"You learn a lot about yourself," Pollard said. "We learned what we're capable of doing. We learned how to play with our backs up against the wall a little bit. That's something that's going to be really valuable when we get into ACC play. We didn't play poorly last night. We came out on the wrong side of the scoreboard but we didn't play poorly. Sometimes that happens in baseball. Today was one of those days where you have to get up off the mat and show some fight and I thought we did a great job with that."
Duke starter Robert Huber was solid on the mound, striking out a career-best seven. The Plano, Texas, native allowed four runs on five hits in 6.2 innings of work.
Sophomore Remy Janco (1-1) picked up the win after recording the final out in the seventh. Frehsm Nick Hendrix earned the save, pitching the eighth and the ninth for Duke. The rookie allowed two runs on three hits while striking out two. Towson's Kyle Paul (0-1) suffered the loss after giving up a pair of runs on three hits in the seventh inning.
"I thought our bullpen threw well the last two days," Pollard added. "I thought Hendrix threw the ball great all weekend. Ultimately the best part in terms of take away from the pitching side of things is that we got great starts all weekend."
Duke's offense had its most successful series to date, hitting .340 as a team for the weekend. Rosenfeld led the way, going 8-for-11 at the plate with two doubles and three RBI over the three games.
Duke will host Pennsylvania in a pair of midweek games Tuesday and Wednesday at Jack Coombs Field before traveling to Coral Gables, Fla., for the ACC-opening series at Miami Friday-Sunday, Mar. 8-10.