DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team exploded for a season-high 18 hits and routed visiting UNC Greensboro, 17-2, Tuesday evening at Jack Coombs Field. Duke’s 17 runs scored marked a season high as the Blue Devils have won eight of their past nine games.
Redshirt sophomore Chris Marconcini totaled a career-high five RBI, belting both a triple and a home run in the contest, while three Blue Devils – Jordan Betts, Kenny Koplove and Ryan Munger – had three hits apiece.
Trailing 2-0 heading to the bottom of the third, Duke (20-14, 8-7 ACC) put six runs on the board to take a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way. The Blue Devils, who went 11-for-19 at the plate with two outs, added four runs in the fourth and seven in the fifth to stake a 15-run advantage.
The Spartans jumped out to an early lead in the opening frame, utilizing a trio of singles to plate the first run of the game. UNCG (16-17, 4-8 SoCon) added its second and final run on a wild pitch for the 2-0 lead.
The momentum shifted in Duke’s favor in the third as Marconcini drilled a two-out, bases-loaded triple to turn a two-run deficit into a 3-2 advantage. Junior Mark Lumpa and Koplove continued the rally with a single and double, respectively, and Munger drove in the pair to put the Blue Devils on top, 6-2. Munger would finish the night 3-for-5 with a career-high four RBI.
Duke’s offense continued to plug away in the following inning, plating four to take a commanding 10-2 lead. Sophomore Andy Perez led off with a base hit and came home on a Jeff Kremer double. Marconcini picked up his fourth and fifth RBI of the evening with a two-run blast to right, his team-leading sixth home run of the season.
Munger led off the fifth with a base hit and added a two-run double in the frame as Duke plated its final seven runs of the contest. Betts and Koplove each added a two-run single to keep the inning going. Betts would end the night 3-for-5 with three RBI and three runs scored, while Koplove was 3-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Freshman Michael Matuella (3-2) settled down after the first inning and did not allow a run the rest of the way en route to his third win of the season. The rookie right-hander allowed the two first-inning runs and scattered five hits while striking out two on the night.
UNCG starter Dylan Hancock (2-3) suffered the loss, giving up six runs on five hits over 2.2 innings of work.
Duke returns to action tomorrow, hosting N.C. Central at 6 p.m., at Jack Coombs Field.