Marcus Stroman struck out nine batters in his final start of the season and center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms ignited the Duke offense with a three-run homer in the sixth inning, leading the Blue Devils to a 7-4 win over Boston College on Thursday afternoon at Commander Shea Field.CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – Junior right-hander
Stroman (6-5) ran his NCAA-leading strikeout total to 136. Stroman finishes the year with 136 strikeouts in 98 innings, good for a 12.49 strikeouts per nine innings rate. Stroman’s 136 strikeouts are the fifth-most in a single season in Duke history. His 136 Ks compared to just 26 walks gave him a 5.23 strikeout-to-walk ratio on the year. In his 10 ACC starts, Stroman had 99 strikeouts against 18 walks.
Stroman’s 290 career strikeouts put him at fourth on Duke’s all-time strikeouts list.
Stroman finished the season with a 2.39 ERA, while his ERA in ACC games was 2.49. His 2.39 ERA is the sixth-lowest in a single season in the aluminum bat era (since 1974) in Duke history. Stroman’s 3.27 career ERA is the second-lowest in school history in the aluminum bat era.
Stroman was at his best from the third through sixth innings, retiring 11 of the 15 batters that he faced. Six of his nine strikeouts came during that stretch, including four straight Ks at one point.
Sophomore Drew Van Orden came on in relief of Stroman in the eighth and retired three of the four batters he faced. Senior David Putman then closed out the ninth, striking out the final two hitters to earn his sixth save of the season. Putman’s six saves are the fifth-most in a season in school history.
Boston College (21-32, 9-19 ACC) took a 2-0 lead in the second, scoring on an RBI-triple by first baseman Tyler Hinchliffe and on an RBI-single by left fielder Marc Perdios.
Shortstop Angelo La Bruna drew a leadoff walk to begin the top of the sixth. Left fielder Anthony D’Alessandro followed with a single to left. Three batters later, Piwnica-Worms hammered the first pitch he saw to deep left field for a three-run homer, giving the Blue Devils a 3-2 lead. It was the seventh long ball of the season for Piwnica-Worms and the 18th of his career.
Duke (20-33, 8-20 ACC) added three runs in the seventh to go ahead 6-2. First baseman Andy Perez and second baseman Mark Lumpa both singled to start the frame. La Bruna then bunted, and when Perez beat Hinchliffe’s throw to third, the Blue Devils had the bases loaded with no outs. D’Alessandro followed with an RBI-single to right to score Perez. Two batters later, designated hitter Jeff Kremer drew a bases-loaded walk to plate Lumpa. Piwnica-Worms then lifted a sacrifice fly to center to drive in La Bruna.
BC shortstop Anthony Melchionda cut the Duke lead to 6-4 with a two-run homer in the bottom half of the seventh.
Right fielder Andrew Istler hit a fly ball that dropped right in front of a diving Tom Bourdon in center and hustled his way to a leadoff double in the top of the eighth. Perez then singled through the right side to move Istler to third. Lumpa then hit a grounder to short and Istler beat the throw to the plate, sliding in safely under the tag from catcher Matt Pare to give Duke a 7-4 lead.
D’Alessandro finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run, Perez went 2-for-4 with a run and Piwnica-Worms had the three-run homer and another RBI to lead Duke at the plate. Lumpa had a hit, an RBI and a run, third baseman Jordan Betts had two hits and Istler had a double and scored once. La Bruna scored twice, Kremer had an RBI and catcher Mike Rosenfeld added a hit for the Blue Devils.
Hunter Gordon (2-8) took the loss after allowing six runs on eight hits in six innings of work.
Game two of the series will be on Friday at 1:30 p.m. The Blue Devils and Eagles will wrap up the series on Saturday at 1 p.m.