CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Junior right-hander Drew Van Orden threw six scoreless innings and the Blue Devils totaled a season-high 13 hits for the third straight game as the Duke baseball team defeated No. 24 Miami, 9-2, Saturday evening at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. With the two victories this weekend, Duke has taken two games from Miami for the first time since the 1966 campaign.
Van Orden (1-1) struck out four batters and held Miami to three hits to earn the victory. He had 1-2-3 innings in the first and fourth and allowed only one runner to reach third and another to reach second.
"[Van Orden] pitched great," said head coach Chris Pollard. "I think the key to the ball game was a couple times he went to three-ball counts and he was able to fight his way back into the count and record an out instead of a walk. That shows a lot of toughness and a lot of competiveness. To me, that was the difference in the ball game."
Duke's offense stayed hot in game two of the series as the Blue Devils scored at least one run in six-of-nine innings. Junior Jordan Betts was 3-for-5 on the day with an RBI, while classmate Matt Berezo turned in a 2-for-5 performance with a pair of RBI. Leadoff man Andy Perez served as the catalyst for the offense, going 2-for-4 with three runs scored.
"[Andy Perez] has been a spark plug and we like having him up there for that reason," Pollard said. "He comes up, he gets a hit, he steals a base, he advances on the overthrow and ends up scoring. He's providing the type of spark you like to see out of your leadoff guy."
For the third time in as many games, Perez ignited the offense with a single to lead off the first. The Roswell, Ga., native then stole second, recording his team-leading six stolen base of the year, and advanced to third on a throwing error by the Miami catcher. After Hurricane starter Javi Salas (2-1) recorded a pair of strikeouts, first baseman Chris Marconcini delivered a two-out single up the middle to score Perez for the first run of the game.
Salas would take the loss for the Hurricanes, allowing five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work.
The Blue Devils opened up the game with five runs over the third, fourth and fifth innings. A three-run third made it 4-0 in Duke's favor as the Blue Devils would add a run in both the fourth and the fifth to take a 6-0 advantage.
Freshman Kenny Koplove began the third with a leadoff walk, which Perez followed with a double to the left center gap. Senior Jeff Kremer recorded the first of his two RBI in the game to score Koplove. Perez would come home on a Mike Rosenfeld single up the middle and an RBI single from Berezo scored Marconcini for the final run of the inning.
Koplove again began a rally in the fourth, dropping in a double down the left field line with one out. Kremer then laced a 1-0 pitch to third base, which took an awkward hop at Miami third baseman Brad Fieger. The play resulted in an RBI double for Kremer to make it 5-0 Blue Devils.
Marconcini scored Duke's sixth run of the game in the fifth, coming home on an Anthony D'Alessandro RBI double down the right field line. An RBI single off the bat of Berezo made it 7-0 in favor of the Blue Devils in the seventh before Duke tacked on two more in the top of the eighth for a 9-0 advantage.
A pair of walks to start the ninth allowed Miami to score two in the final frame. A sac fly from Roger Gonzalez scored Chris Barr from third and aGrant Heyman RBI single scored the final run of the game.
Freshman Nick Hendrix pitched two scoreless innings in relief for the Blue Devils, allowing just one hit while striking out four. Sophomore Sarkis Ohanian came on in the ninth and recorded the final three outs of the game.
The series finale will take place Sunday at 1 p.m., at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. Duke then returns to Durham for midweek games against N.C. Central and Quinnipiac before hosting ACC foe Virginia Tech next weekend.