Dennis O'Grady struck out seven and scattered five hits over six innings, and Chase Bebout threw three scoreless frames out of the bullpen to lead Duke past Mount St. Mary’s, 4-1, in game two of Sunday’s double header at Jack Coombs Field.DURHAM, N.C. –
O’Grady (5-3) gave up just one run to lower his season ERA to 3.77. A senior right-hander, O’Grady has held his last four opponents to two runs or less over at least 5.2 innings. The Floral Park, N.Y., native also made his 22nd consecutive weekend start and surpassed career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts on Sunday.
O’Grady left the game with a 2-1 lead, and Bebout closed the door with three scoreless frames to notch his first career save. Bebout retired nine of the 10 batters he faced, struck out two and gave up a single.
Sophomore catcher Ryan Munger, who caught all 18 innings of Sunday’s double header, provided half of Duke’s offense with one swing of the bat in the seventh inning. With two outs and runners on second and third after Duke pulled off a double steal, Munger drove a base hit back up the middle that plated both runners and increased the lead to 4-1.
Freshman Anthony D'Alessandro also drove in a run – the go-ahead score in the fifth – with one of his two singles on the day. Against non-conference teams, D’Alessandro owns a team-leading . 413 batting average.
O’Grady and Mount St. Mary’s starter Nick Riley (0-2) battled through three scoreless innings to start the game before Duke broke the scoreless streak with a run in the bottom of the fourth. Freshman three-hitter Chris Marconcini gave Duke the lead by driving a leadoff single back up the middle and later scoring on a two-out wild pitch up the middle.
O’Grady kept the Mountaineers scoreless over his first four frames, but allowed Mount St. Mary’s to tie the game when leadoff batter Tommy Flynn tagged a two-out RBI single in the top of the fifth. Duke took that run right back in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single by D’Alessandro to regain a 2-1 lead. The Blue Devils had a chance to break the game open with the bases loaded and one out, but Riley induced a popup for the second out, and his third baseman Zach Helman robbed Jordan Betts of an RBI single with a diving play on a ground ball in the hole to end the inning.
After striking out seven without issuing a walk through six innings, O’Grady yielded to Bebout at the start of the seventh inning. The 6-6 sophomore right-hander needed just seven pitches to retire the side in order, using four of those to strike out pinch hitter Nick Walker to end the inning.
Munger followed by delivering a clutch two-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning that put Duke ahead 4-1. With two outs and runners at second and third following a double steal, Munger ripped a 1-2 fastball right back up the middle to send in both runners. The base knock was the third of the day for Munger, who stayed in to catch both games of the double header.
Bebout, meanwhile, retired the first six batters he faced in his first two innings before designated hitter Kyle Kane broke up that streak with a leadoff double in the ninth. That was the only blip on Bebout’s three scoreless innings, however, as he sat down the next three batters he faced to keep the three-run lead intact and record his first career save.
Duke will resume ACC play this weekend with a three-game homestand against Wake Forest at Durham Bulls Athletic Park on May 13-15. The series will mark the final home games of the season for Duke, and the Blue Devils will honor senior Dennis O’Grady on Saturday for the program’s Senior Day ceremony.