DURHAM, N.C. - George Washington catcher Jimmy Best went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer and a two-run single as the Colonials took the series finale from Duke 8-5 on Sunday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
The Blue Devils (7-6) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Matt Berezo led off the inning with a single to center. Right fielder Grant McCabe followed with a double into the left field corner to give the Blue Devils a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs. Berezo would later score on a wild pitch.
George Washington (2-7) answered with two runs in the top of the second to take a lead that they wouldn't relinquish. With the bases loaded and no outs, third baseman Robbie Haben dropped an RBI-bloop single into short right field to score Best. First baseman Derek Brown would come around from second and score on the play when Duke second baseman Angelo LaBruna booted the ball towards the right field line on his attempt to pick it up.
The Colonials added three runs in the fourth to go ahead 5-1. Left fielder Stephen Oswald had an RBI-double to right and Best added a two-run single for the four-run advantage.
Designated hitter Jeff Kremer doubled down the left field line to start the bottom of the fourth. Kremer would later advance to third on a passed ball and eventually score on a sacrifice fly to center from catcher Mike Rosenfeld to make it a 5-2 ballgame.
Oswald added a one-out RBI-double in the top of the sixth and Best followed with his two-run shot to right center to extend the Colonial lead to 8-2.
The Blue Devils pushed two runs across in the bottom half of the sixth to cut the lead to 8-4. After center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms and Kremer drew one-out walks, third baseman Jordan Betts drove them in with a two-run triple to center.
In the seventh, second baseman Mark Lumpa drove a 3-2 pitch over the head of Ryan Hickey in center for a standup leadoff triple. Left fielder Anthony D'Alessandro then lined a pitch off pitcher Kenny O'Brien's glove to drive in Lumpa from third, making the score 8-5.
D'Alessandro finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Berezo was 2-for-4 with a run scored. Betts had the two-run triple, Kremer added a hit and scored twice, Lumpa was 1-for-2 with a triple and a run scored and Rosenfeld had an RBI.
George Washington starter Tyler McCarthy (2-0) picked up his second win after holding the Blue Devils to four runs on four hits in 5.1 innings. Left-hander Kenny O'Brien struck out seven and limited Duke to one run on four hits in 3.2 innings to earn his second save of the year.
Duke starter Robert Huber (2-1) took the loss after allowing five runs - three of them earned - on eight hits in four innings. Huber had five strikeouts but issued four walks in the game. Senior reliever David Putman struck out three batters and held the Colonials to no hits in two scoreless frames. Freshman Andrew Istler added a shutout ninth for the Blue Devils.
Duke will hit the road for two midweek games this week, taking on Western Carolina on Tuesday and Appalachian State on Wednesday. The Blue Devils return to Durham for a three-game series against Florida State at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park next weekend.