DURHAM, N.C. - Junior right-hander Marcus Stroman struck out 13 batters and held No. 10 Miami to one run on six hits in seven innings, leading Duke to a 5-1 win over the Hurricanes on Friday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Stroman struck out every Miami hitter in the lineup.
Stroman (2-2) had a strikeout in every inning except the first and struck out the side in the second and sixth innings. He had two strikeouts in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. From the fourth through the seventh innings, Stroman struck out nine of the final 14 batters he faced.
By the time Stroman struck out right fielder Tyler Palmer to end the seventh for his 13th and final strikeout of the night, he had fanned every hitter in Miami's lineup.
The 13 strikeouts are the second-highest total of Stroman's career and it was the sixth double-digit strikeout performance he has had.
Stroman now has 52 strikeouts in 33.1 innings this season, good enough for a 14.14 strikeouts per nine innings rate. In his last four starts, Stroman has 49 strikeouts compared to just seven walks. Stroman has gone at least seven innings in each of his last four starts.
The Duke defense had a big impact in the first inning. With two outs and a runner on first, Miami's Rony Rodriguez doubled to the wall in left field. Catcher Peter O'Brien tried to score from first but was gunned down at the plate on a relay throw from shortstop Angelo LaBruna.
The Blue Devils (8-12, 1-3 ACC) took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Third baseman Jordan Betts led off the inning with a single to center. Two batters later, left fielder Andrew Istler crushed the first pitch he saw into the gap in left center for an RBI-double.
Right fielder Grant McCabe singled through the right side to begin the third. Second baseman Andy Perez then moved McCabe into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms then dropped an RBI-single in front of a diving Palmer in right to give Duke a 2-0 lead.
Betts doubled high off the left field wall to start the sixth. Istler then singled to right with one out to give the Blue Devils runners on the corners. LaBruna followed with an RBI-single to right to extend the Duke lead to 3-0.
Shortstop Jarred Mederos had an RBI-single up the middle in the seventh for the Hurricanes (14-4, 3-1 ACC) to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
The Blue Devils answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the seventh to go ahead 5-1. Both of Duke's runs came on Miami errors.
Center fielder Dale Carey and O'Brien both singled to start off the top of the eighth for the Hurricanes. Istler then came in from left field to pitch with two on and no outs. Istler would strike out the next three hitters to get the Blue Devils out of the jam.
Istler then closed out the ninth to earn his second career save. Istler struck out a season-high four batters and held Miami hitless in two shutout innings.
Piwnica-Worms finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead Duke offensively. Istler went 2-for-4 with an RBI-double, while Betts was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Catcher Mike Rosenfeld also finished 2-for-4, while LaBruna had a hit and an RBI and McCabe and Perez both added a hit and a run scored for the Blue Devils.
Miami starter Eric Erickson (3-2) suffered the loss after giving up five runs on 11 hits in 6.1 innings.
Game two of the series will begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday's series finale will be at 1 p.m. GoDuke.com will have exclusive live video coverage of the entire series.