Grant McCabe and a pinch-hit, walk-off three-run double from sophomore David Perkins for a come-from-behind 9-8 win over Eastern Michigan on Tuesday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils (5-5) erased an eight-run deficit in the win over the Eagles (1-5).DURHAM, N.C. - Trailing 8-5 entering the bottom of the ninth, Duke got an RBI-infield single from right fielder
With one out in the ninth, third baseman Jordan Betts singled to center and stole second to get the rally going. Left fielder Andrew Istler then drew a walk and first baseman Andy Perez reached on a single deep in the hole at short to load the bases. McCabe then drove Betts in with an RBI-infield single, reaching base when Eagle second baseman John Rubino couldn't decide whether to throw to first or second and held onto the ball. Perkins then came in to pinch hit and delivered the walk-off three-run double, driving in McCabe and pinch runners Anthony D'Alessandro and Marcus Stroman to give the Blue Devils the 9-8 victory. It was only the second at bat of the season for Perkins, who has been out with an injury.
Eagle right fielder Bo Kinder doubled down the right field line to begin the game. Center fielder Brent Ohrman followed with an RBI-single to center. Ohrman would advance to second on the play on a Duke error and then to third on a fly out to center. Ohrman then scored on a groundout to short to give Eastern Michigan an early 2-0 lead.
The Eagles added six runs in the top of the second to go ahead 8-0. Catcher Matt Hitt turned on a 1-0 offering and sent a two-run homer down the left field line just inside the foul pole for his first home run of the season. Eastern Michigan would later score on another Duke miscue for a five-run lead. First baseman Sam Ott capped the inning with a two-out, three-run double to the gap in left center.
Designated hitter Jeff Kremer would score Duke's first run on an Eastern Michigan error in the bottom of the second. McCabe added a two-out, RBI-single to right later in the frame to cut the Eagle lead to 8-2.
Center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms belted a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center with two outs in the third to make it an 8-3 ballgame. It was the second home run of the season for Piwnica-Worms and the 13th of his career.
In the bottom of the fifth, Kremer reached base on a one-out throwing error by third baseman Ben Magsig. Betts then drove the first pitch he saw into the gap in left center for an RBI-double.
Piwnica-Worms made an unbelievable catch to save a run and end the seventh inning. With a runner on first and two outs on the board, Rubino sent a hard-hit line drive to deep center field. Piwnica-Worms ran towards the wall and made a diving catch on the warning track to keep the score at 8-4.
Piwnica-Worms then came to the plate in the bottom half of the seventh and lined a leadoff single to right field. Kremer then hit a ground rule double down the left field line to give the Blue Devils a pair of runners in scoring position. After a walk to Betts loaded the bases, Piwnica-Worms scored on a groundout to cut the Eastern Michigan lead to 8-5.
Perez finished 3-for-5 with a run scored, while McCabe was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Piwnica-Worms had two hits, including the solo homer in the third, while Kremer and Betts added two hits of their own.
Senior reliever David Putman (1-0) earned his first career victory after holding the Eagles to one hit in two shutout innings out of the bullpen. Freshman Remy Janco tossed 3.1 scoreless innings, limiting Eastern Michigan to just three hits while striking out two. Sophomore Drew Van Orden added two scoreless frames for the Blue Devils, giving up only two hits.
Kristian Calibuso (0-1) took the loss after allowing four runs on four hits in 1.1 innings of work.
Duke will host George Washington for a three-game series at Jack Coombs Field this weekend.