Senay finished the day 2-for-3 with two RBI, including the go-ahead, RBI single in the ninth. His base hit capped a four-run rally that started in the sixth inning and allowed the Wolfpack (8-5) to overcome a 3-0 deficit.
After the Blue Devils (11-4, 0-1 ACC) scored all three of their runs in the second inning, N.C. State starting pitcher Cory Mazzoni closed Duke down and surrendered just three singles over his next five frames. Mazzoni scattered six hits and gave up three runs, one earned, for the game. Mazzoni recorded eight strikeouts over his seven complete innings and threw 127 pitches before turning it over to Chris Overman and Grant Sasser.
Overman (2-0) and Sasser combined to allow just two hits and gave up zero runs in the final two frames, as Sasser recorded his second save this season. Duke managed to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the ninth against Sasser, but the Wolfpack closer finished the job by getting Duke freshman David Perkins – who was 3-for-4 to that point in the game – to ground into a game-ending fielder’s choice.
Duke starting pitcher Chase Bebout, a 6-6, 200-pound sophomore, was on pace for the best start of his career with a career-high 10 strikeouts over five shutout innings, but was knocked out early when he took a line drive off his arm in the sixth inning. Before leaving the game, Bebout had used recorded eight of his previous nine outs by strikeout. With his 10 strikeouts, Bebout became the first pitcher with double-digit strikeouts since Marcus Stroman sat down 10 against Wake Forest on April 23, 2010.
Ben Grisz, Mark Lumpa (0-1) and Drew Van Orden pitched in relief for the Blue Devils scattering five hits for two runs – both unearned – with four strikeouts between them. The Blue Devil pitchers struck out a season-high 14 batters on the day that breaks the previous mark of 13 against Richmond on February 20. Lumpa, however, recorded his first loss in over four years as the freshman – who was 28-0 in his high school career – gave up the unearend run in the top of the ninth after a dropped fly ball allowed Pratt Maynard one more pitch which he turned into a double that eventually led to the go-ahead run.
Duke freshman third baseman Jordan Betts was 1-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Betts’ single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 12 games, as he has now had a hit in 14 of Duke’s 15 games and has reached base safely in every contest this season.
Along with Betts, Perkins finished a career-best 3-for-5 at the plate with a run scored, while Dennis O’Grady was 2-for-4 with a run scored and swiped his fifth base this season. O’Grady has now stolen five bases in his last six attempts.
Duke (11-4, 0-1 ACC) scored its three runs on eight hits and earned a season-high seven walks in the loss. The Blue Devils also stole one base and have now swiped an ACC-leading 31 bases in 42 attempts.
The Blue Devils got out to an early lead in the bottom of the second inning when Cory Mazzoni allowed two hits and three walks, two of which were bases-loaded walks. Perkins and O’Grady started the inning off with two hits, and then Perkins scored the first run after a bases loaded walk to Anthony D’Alessandro. Freshman Chris Marconcini then reached on a fielder’s choice and an error by the N.C. State second baseman as O’Grady crossed the plate for the second run of the inning. The third run also came from a bases loaded walk to Betts that scored Stroman, who reached base on the first walk of the inning.
Bebout then took over on the mound and recorded eight strikeouts on the next nine outs. He struck out the side in the fourth inning and worked out of a jam in the fifth by getting three straight outs – including two by strikeout – with two men on base.
Bebout’s start quickly ended in the top of the sixth, however, when three-hitter Pratt Maynard drilled a line drive back up the middle that ricocheted off Bebout’s arm and into left field. Bebout exited the game and handed the ball to Grisz, who issues two walks and hit a batter to send in a pair of N.C. State runs.
The Wolfpack added one more run in the top of the seventh after an error at second by Stroman allowed John Gianis to reach base and then score on a double by Maynard that evened the score at 3-3.
N.C. State would add the final run of the game in the top of the ninth when Maynard hit a leadoff double, and Senay came through with a clutch single that scored Maynard from second to seal the 4-3 win.
Duke and N.C. State will play game two of the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park.