DURHAM, N.C. - Sophomore left-hander Trent Swart tied a career high with 10 strikeouts and held Bucknell to just two hits over seven scoreless innings to lead Duke to a 9-0 win Friday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
Swart (1-0) retired 21 of the 24 batters he faced, including the last 17 in a row. Swart had a strikeout in every inning except the sixth, had multiple strikeouts in three innings and did not issue a walk in his second start of the season. It was the third 10-strikeout performance of his career.
"I thought it was a tremendous outing by Trent Swart," said head coach Chris Pollard. "He was really in complete command of the game, in really what were tough conditions to pitch in. I credit [Bucknell's] starting pitcher [Bryson] Hough, too. I thought he threw a really good ball game, only gave up three hits through 5.1 innings and kept us off balance early. But the job that Swart did putting up zeros allowed us to get our offense going. I thought [Dalton] Brown and [Sarkis] Ohanian came in behind him and did a good job of pitching to contact. As the game went on, I thought our offensive approach got better and better."
Duke (2-2) took advantage of two Bucknell errors in the bottom of the third to go ahead 2-0.
The Blue Devils added five runs in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead. First baseman Chris Marconcini lined the first pitch of the inning into the gap in left center for a leadoff double. After second baseman Andy Perez drew a walk, designated hitter Matt Berezo moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Anthony D'Alessandro then drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases. Shortstop Angelo La Bruna cleared the bases with a three-run double, lining an 0-2 pitch over the head of Bucknell left fielder Matt Busch. La Bruna would then get picked off at second for the second out of the inning. Left fielder Andrew Istler then blasted a 3-1 offering over the wall in left for his first career home run. Right fielder Jeff Kremer and catcher Mike Rosenfeld dropped back-to-back, two-out doubles into shallow center to cap the frame.
A two-run seventh extended the Duke lead to 9-0. Perez drew a one-out walk and stole second to get the inning going. Berezo followed with an RBI-single to left to score Perez. When the Bison tried to throw Perez out at home, Berezo advanced all the way to third. Berezo would later score on a wild pitch.
La Bruna led the Blue Devils at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a three-run double and a run scored. Kremer added two hits and scored twice, while Istler, Rosenfeld and Berezo all drove in one run apiece.
Bucknell starter Bryson Hough (0-2) took the loss after surrendering five runs - three of those earned - on three hits in 5.1 innings of work.
Busch and designated hitter Luke Lombardi had the only two hits for Bucknell (0-4).
Game two of the series is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m. The Blue Devils and Bison will wrap up the series on Sunday at noon.