DURHAM, N.C. – The Terrapins’ Jimmy Reed tossed nine scoreless innings and Maryland scored a single run in the eighth to down the Duke baseball team 1-0 in the series opener Friday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Reed (5-3) faced six batters over the minimum and needed 98 pitches in his first shutout of the season, scattering five hits while striking out three batters and walking a pair.
Duke starter Trent Swart (4-4) was saddled with the loss despite an equally impressive outing. The Calrsbad, Calif., native allowed just one run on five hits in a season-high-tying eight innings of work. Swart struck out at least one batter in six innings, totaling nine strikeouts alongside three walks.
“It was an incredibly well-pitched ball game on both sides,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “I give Trent Swart a ton of credit; I thought he competed his tail off. He made a lot of pitches with runners in scoring position today when he had to. We had a couple chances offensively and we just didn’t come up with a hit in the moment. It was a really good job of our club competing to the last pitch.”
Maryland (24-20, 7-15 ACC) had a runner in scoring position in three of the first four frames, but Swart came up with a strikeout to end the inning on each occasion. The Terps looked to take lead in the fifth, loading the bases on a walk and a pair of singles. Swart then fell behind in the count 3-0 to right fielder Jordan Hagel, but battled back and got the strikeout to end the threat.
Duke (24-21, 8-14 ACC) had a chance to score in both the third and fifth innings as junior Mark Lumpa, who was 1-for-2 with a walk, reached base and moved into scoring position in both frames. Each time Reed was able to work out the inning unscathed, getting a double play ball in the third and a ground ball to second in the fifth.
Senior Jeff Kremer singled with one out in the sixth and advanced to second on a wild pitched but a pair of groundouts brought the inning to a close.
The Terrapins scratched across the lone run of the game in the top of the eighth. Hagel doubled with one out before scampering to third on a LaMonte Wade grounder to short. With cleanup hitter Kevin Martir at the plate, a pitch in the dirt got away from catcher Reed Anthes, allowing the eventual winning run to cross the plate.
Maryland almost extended its lead to 2-0 in the ninth, but freshmen lefty Nick Hendrix, on in relief, threw out the Andrew Amaro at home on an attempted squeeze bunt to keep the deficit at 1-0.
Duke would not go quietly in the ninth, placing the tying run on second after a Jordan Betts base hit and a Chris Marconcini walk. With the potential game-winning run on base, Reed was able to induce a fly ball to right field to end the ball game.
“We did a good job of keeping the run off the scoreboard in the top of the ninth” Pollard said. “Then we came up in the bottom of the ninth. We put runners on. We had the tying run at second base with two outs and just didn’t come up with the hit. It was a very well-played game on both sides.”
The two teams reconvene Saturday at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park for the second game of the series. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.