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Blue Devil Offense Keeps Rolling In 16-2 Win Over Campbell
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 04/16/2008
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Freshman shorstop Jake Lemmerman hammered his second career home run against Campbell on Wednesday. Lemmerman is batting .500 over his last four games with six RBI, five runs scored and a team-leading .632 on base percentage.
Photo Courtesy: Duke Photography
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BUIES CREEK, N.C. -- Nate Freiman and Gabriel Saade combined for six RBI and five runs to lead Duke to a 16-2 win over Campbell Wednesday evening at Taylor Field.

Freiman collected four hits in six at bats, while Saade mashed a triple and a single while also picking up his 15th stolen base of the season. The four-hit game was the fourth straight multi-hit outing for Freiman, who has raised his batting average 60 points to a team-leading .393 during that span. Since returning to the lineup six games ago, Freiman is batting .500 with 14 RBI, two home runs and four doubles.

Of Duke's 20 hits in the game, eight went for extra-bases. Catcher Matt Williams had two extra-base knocks with a pair of doubles, while shortstop Jake Lemmerman hammered his second career home run. In addition to Freiman and Saade, four other Blue Devils collected multiple hits, including sophomores Alex Hassan and Ryan McCurdy who each turned in three hits. Hassan has now collected at least one hit in all 21 of Duke's non-conference games this season.


Jonathan Foreman (2-0) picked up the win after holding Campbell (15-23) to one run on five hits over five complete innings. Ryan Perry, Grant Monroe and Kyle Butler each contributed scoreless innings in relief to take the game into the ninth, with Monroe and Butler combining to retire six straight in the seventh and eighth. Dennis O'Grady closed out the ninth by striking out three batters to offset an RBI double by the Fighting Camels in the inning.


With the win, Duke (26-12, 5-12 ACC) moves to 21-0 against non-conference opponents. The Blue Devils have won their last three games by a combined score of 46-4 while reaching double figures in each of the last two outings.


Carlton Floyd was the lone bright spot for Campbell after turning in a 3-for-3 outing that included a double and one of the Fighting Camels’ two RBI. Andrew Caron came off the bench to send in Campbell’s other run with an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth. Campbell used nine pitchers in the contest, with Bryan Braswell supplying the only hitless performance of the group. Only one Fighting Camel tossed more than one inning, as Jeff Hoffman recorded five outs through the fourth and fifth.


Duke took an early 3-0 lead in the first inning after loading the bases with no outs and sending all three runners across the plate. Jonathan Nicolla and Saade provided the RBI in the inning, as Nicolla sent in Williams with a sacrifice fly ball to deep right field just before Saade plated Freiman with a two-out RBI single. Hassan also scored in the inning after ripping a leadoff double and getting a free pass to the plate on a wild pitch. The opening two-bagger was the team-leading 13th of the season for Hassan and extended his non-conference hitting streak to 21 straight games.


The three-run first inning was enough for Campbell to make its first pitching change, as left-hander Daniel Gardo came on to relieve starter Cody Raisch at the top of the second. The change was enough to temporarily halt Duke’s momentum, as the freshman lefty retired three of four in the inning to negate a one-out single poked out to right by McCurdy.


After Gardo threw up a zero in the second, the Fighting Camels went to their bullpen once again and brought in right-hander Josh Fish at the start of the third. Fish gave up a pair of hits to open the inning, including a one-out double to Nicolla that moved Freiman to third base after his leadoff single. Fish pitched well enough to have gotten out of the inning unharmed, but took the brunt of a pair of Campbell throwing errors that happened on one play and led to three unearned runs in the inning. After Nicolla’s double put him and Freiman in scoring position, Saade pulled a ground ball down the third base line to John Watlington for what should have been the second out of the inning. After checking Freiman at third though, Watlington’s throw to first base sailed over Ryan Hamme’s head and into the fence. While the error allowed both runners to score, the Fighting Camels gave Saade a free pass to third base on the same play after right fielder Mike Causey picked up the overthrown ball and proceeded to make his own throwing error to the plate in an attempt to throw out Nicolla. With Saade on third, Kyle Kreick came through with a sacrifice fly ball to right field for the third run of the inning.

Campbell followed with their first run in the bottom of the third, thanks to a two-out RBI single by Floyd. The RBI base knock followed a sacrifice bunt from Ellis Lowe that moved Hamme to second after the Fighting Camel leadoff man reached base with a two-strike single up the middle. After the RBI single, Foreman got himself out of the inning after quickly fielding another bunt in front of the mound and firing to first just in time to catch Brandon Scott by less than a step.

Duke’s offense kept rolling in the fourth and pounded four extra base hits, including a two-run homer from Lemmerman, en route to a seven-run inning for a 13-1 lead. The Blue Devils totaled six hits in the inning, beginning with three straight from Hassan, Williams and Freiman to open the frame. Williams’ and Freiman’s knocks were both doubles down the right field line with Freiman’s two-bagger sending in both runners. Colin Parker, who came on in relief to start the inning, finally managed to pick up the first out, but was hurt by another fielding error from his defense after Nicolla reached base on a botched ground ball. Saade then cleared the bases with a two-run triple to prompt another pitching change from Campbell, as right-hander Jeff Hoffman came in to inherit a one-out situation with Saade on third. Hoffman induced a ground ball to his first batter, but shortstop Zach Johnson opted to throw out Saade at the plate and misfired to catcher Stephen Parsons, allowing Saade to score and Kreick to reach first with one out. Lemmerman then stepped up to the plate and mashed the first pitch he saw well over the 337 sign down the left field line for his second home run of the season.

Campbell’s defense continued to struggle in the fifth and committed three more errors to allow another unearned run across the plate. Duke managed the run without a hit, as three straight fielding errors allowed Gould to score after reaching base on an error.

Conversely, Campbell’s offense could not catch a break, as a hit-and-run in the bottom of the fifth was converted into a double play when Hamme lined a screamer right at Kreick in right field. Kreick caught the line drive and quickly fired a rope to first base to catch Johnson on the way back to the bag and complete the inning-ending double play. The play erased a single from Johnson and gave Foreman his second straight inning in which he faced the minimum three batters.


Duke added one more run to its 14-1 lead on a two-out RBI base hit from Freiman. The single up the middle was the fourth hit of the ball game for Duke’s junior first baseman and scored Williams, who reached with a two-out double off the left field wall.


Foreman handed the ball to Perry at the top of the sixth after the sophomore starter tossed five innings of one-run baseball for the second straight start. Perry came in to face Campbell’s two, three and four hitters, but was just as effective as Foreman, retiring three of the next four batters to take the game into the final third.

Campbell followed suit in the seventh and sent their seventh pitcher of the game to the mound in the form of left-handed Matt Martinez. Martinez recorded the first three-up, three-down inning for the Fighting Camels after retiring the side on just 10 pitches.

Following Perry’s scoreless sixth, Duke sent Monroe to the mound for his first career relief appearance. He made Campbell’s first two batters look clueless after dishing out a pair of called strikeouts before completing the 1-2-3 inning by forcing a flyout to Tom Luciano in right field.

Butler then came on in the eighth and continued the retired batters streak, using just 12 pitches to sit down the next three hitters. Butler has been one of Duke’s most effective relievers against non-conference competition, as the junior right-hander has put together a 2.89 ERA against competition outside of the ACC while tying for the team lead with six non-conference pitching appearances.

The Blue Devils added an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI single from McCurdy to improve the lead to 16-1. Campbell finally answered in the bottom half of the ninth though on a two-out double by Caron. Caron’s RBI two-bagger came with two outs on the board and plated Brandon Scott, who also doubled in the inning after hustling halfway around the base paths to stretch out a blooper to shallow left.


Duke will head back to Jack Coombs Field this weekend for a three-game series with Clemson, beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday, April 18. The series will continue at 2 p.m. on Saturday before wrapping up on 1 p.m. on Sunday. Outside of Friday starter Andrew Wolcott, Duke’s rotation for the weekend has yet to be determined.

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