WACO, Texas - Shawn Tolleson struck out 11 batters in six innings while holding Duke to three runs to lead Baylor to a 9-3 win Friday afternoon at Baylor Ballpark in the opening game of the QTI Apparel's Opening Weekend Classic.
Tolleson gave up three runs in the first inning, but then teamed up with reliever Josh Turley to shut out the Blue Devils over the final eight innings. After Duke strung together two doubles and three runs in the first inning, the duo of Tolleson and Turley held the Blue Devils to just three hits over the remainder of the game.
Turley, who entered the game with a 5-3 lead in the seventh, picked up the save with three innings of one-hit relief. The lone single off of the left-handed Turley came from Duke senior Jeremy Gould, who finished 2-for-2 with two RBI, two walks and a run. Gould also threw an inning in relief, striking out one while facing the minimum in the bottom of the eighth.
The Blue Devils (0-1) took an early 3-0 lead with a first-inning rally, but then allowed the Bears to chip away at the lead before they jumped ahead 5-3 in the bottom of the fifth inning. A four-run seventh inning for Baylor that included RBI singles from Gregg Glime and Landis Ware all but locked up the win for the Bears.
Baylor (1-0) got two RBI apiece from Max Muncy, Gregg Glime and Landis Ware and a 2-for-4, two-run performance from Dan Evatt. The Bears tagged 12 hits in the contest, including doubles from Evatt and Cal Towey and a triple from Joey Hainsfurther.
Duke got the majority of its offense from Gould, though freshman second baseman Marcus Stroman also drove in a run with an RBI double. The double came on Stroman's first career at bat. Duke used a starting lineup that included three freshmen - Stroman, third baseman Eric Brady and designiated hitter/outfielder Mike Carroll - who all recorded hits in their debut.
Sophomore southpaw Eric Pfisterer took the loss for Duke after surrendering five runs in 4.1 innings. Duke used five pitchers in the outing, including Gould and junior Dennis O'Grady who threw 1.2 innings without giving up a run.
Duke got on the board early, thanks to pair of doubles from Gould and Stroman. Gould's two bagger came with leadoff hitter Will Piwnica-Worms and three-hitter Jake Lemmerman in scoring position and scored both. Gould then moved to third on a flyout to right field, setting up Stroman to give the Blue Devils a 3-0 lead with a double down the left field line.
Baylor responded quickly, however, and strung together consecutive two-out hits and a walk to trim the early deficit to 3-2. After Pfisterer retired the first two batters, Muncy knocked a base hit into right field and then scored all the way from first on a two-out double down the left field line from Evatt. Evatt would then move to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a balk.
After giving up two runs in the first, however, Pfisterer settled down and retired six of the next seven batters. His only fault was a leadoff walk in the third that was quickly erased by a double play from Stroman to Lemmerman to Gould. The double play would be the first of two in the game for Duke, which turned 54 in 2009.
Tolleson was able to match Pfisterer though, and held Duke scoreless for the remainder of the game. The Blue Devils had scoring opportunities in the third and fourth with two men on and one out, but Tolleson struck out two straight hitters both times to end the threats. Through four innings, Tolleson racked up seven strikeouts.
The Bears finally broke up Pfisterer's scoreless streak in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from catcher Glime. With men on first and second, Glime snuck a ground ball through the left side that allowed Evatt to score from second base. With one out and two men still on, however, Duke's defense came through once again to limit the damage by gloving a pair of hard-hit ground balls in the infield for force outs.
Baylor scored again in the bottom of the fifth, sending in two to take its first lead of the game at 5-3. Leadoff hitter Logan Vick and Hainsfurther started the rally with consecutive hits, including a triple off the center field wall from Hainsfurther. Muncy then came through with a sacrifice fly to deep right field that sent in the second run and prompted Duke to call in sophomore O'Grady to relieve Pfisterer. O'Grady allowed two men to reach, but got out of the inning on a double play from Brady to Stroman to Gould.
Tolleson stayed dominant in the sixth, holding Duke without a run for the fifth straight frame. The junior right-hander struck out his 10th and 11th batters of the game in that inning. From the third through sixth inning, Tolleson struck out eight batters before being replaced by Turley in the top of the seventh.
Stroman bailed Duke out of another jam in the bottom of the sixth, recording two straight outs with the bases loaded. With the bases full and one out, Stroman fielded a ground ball behind the mound and gunned the ball to the plate for the force out. With two outs, he then tracked a high popup into the outfield where he made the catch in the right fielder's territory to keep all three runners at bay and end the inning unharmed.
The Bears made the most of their scoring opportunities in the bottom half of the seventh, however, and went ahead 9-3 on RBI singles from Glime and Ware and a bases loaded walk. Glime's base knock came against Duke right-hander Michael Seander, who made his first appearance since March 9, 2008. Seander sat down the first hitter he faced, but following Glime's hit handed the ball to sophomore David Putman. After a walk to Chris Slater loaded the bases, Ware drove in two runners with a base hit through the left side. Another single from Vick re-loaded the bases, which set the table for an RBI walk to Muncy.
Duke changed pitchers again in the eighth, sending Gould to the mound from first base. Gould, who had not made an appearance since Feb. 27, 2008, faced the minimum three hitters and struck out one.
Duke will have another shot to take down Baylor on Saturday in game two of the QTI Apparel's Opening Weekend Classic. The Blue Devils face the Bears at 1 p.m. (CT) at Baylor Ballpark in the first game of a double header. Duke also takes on No. 22 Georgia at 5 p.m. (CT) Saturday. Taking the mound in game one on Saturday is senior right-hander Michael Ness. Game two will feature senior Jonathan Foreman against Bulldog right-hander Jeff Walters.