WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - Michael Dimock struck out 11 batters over a career-long eight innings to lead Wake Forest to a 7-1 series-clinching win over Duke on Sunday afternoon at Gene Hooks Field.
Dimock gave up just five hits did not allow a run until the top of the ninth when Duke sophomore Will Piwnica-Worms homered for the second straight game. Dimock did not issue a single walk and did not allow more than one Blue Devil to reach base in any of his eight innings.
The Demon Deacons (12-31, 4-17 ACC) got a pair of solo home runs from two-hitter Ryan Semeniuk and six-hitter Matt Conway and a 2-for-4, two-RBI effort from third baseman Taylor Kaprive. Conway also tagged three of Wake Forest's 11 hits.
Duke starter Dennis O'Grady (0-3) suffered the loss after surrendering three runs - two earned - over five complete innings. The Demon Deacons then touched up Duke's bullpen for four runs, though only two of those were earned as the Blue Devils committed two errors for only the seventh time this season.
Along with Piwnica-Worms' home run, Duke (23-18, 7-14 ACC) also got a triple from leadoff hitter Jake Lemmerman, but stranded seven base runners. Freshman Eric Brady also collected two hits for the fourth time in his last six games.
The Demon Deacons wasted little time getting on the board and took advantage of a dropped fly ball by the Blue Devils in the second inning to score the first run of the game. The extra out allowed Taylor Kaprive to knock a two-out single in the bottom of the second for a 1-0 lead.
The bottom of the fourth inning featured a first-pitch homer from Conway that increased the Wake Forest lead to 2-0. O'Grady bounced back quickly to retire three of the next four hitters, however, and picked up his sixth strikeout of the game in the process.
The Blue Devils got a leadoff double from freshman Marcus Stroman in the top of the fifth, but left him stranded at second after Dimock struck out the next three hitters to keep the score at 2-0. Stroman laced a ground ball down the left field line and hustled to second base for his eighth double of the year, but Dimock bounced back to pick up his sixth, seventh and eighth strikeouts of the game.
Wake Forest scored again in the fifth on another leadoff homer from Semeniuk to jump ahead 3-0. O'Grady worked through that inning without allowing another run, but was relieved in the sixth by Ben Grisz. The pitching change did little to slow down Wake Forest's offense, however, as the Deacs scored two runs in the sixth and seventh off of Grisz and Michael Seander to increase the lead to 7-0.
Dimock, meanwhile, held Duke scoreless again in the sixth and seventh. He struck out the side in order in the seventh to set a new career high with 11 punchouts for the game. Lemmerman tagged him for a two-out triple in the top of the eighth, but was left stranded on third when Dimock got Jeremy Gould to pop up for the third out.
Duke finally broke up the shutout in the top of the ninth when Piwnica-Worms launched his second homer of the series over the left field wall. The long ball signaled the end of the game for Dimock, who was pulled in favor of Joel Ernst. Ernst inherited base runners at first and second, but stranded both with a strikeout and a groundout to end the game.
Up next for the Blue Devils is a pair of midweek meetings with North Carolina A&T on Tuesday, April 27, and High Point on Wednesday. The Tuesday meeting with the Aggies will take place at Jack Coombs Field on the West Campus of Duke University at 6 p.m., while the 7 p.m. meeting with the Panthers is in High Point, N.C.