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Duke Drops Finale 9-4 to No. 3 Georgia Tech
Monday 04/04/2010  -  Duke Sports Information
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Courtesy: Duke Photography
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Duke freshman Eric Brady matched a career high with three hits in...

ATLANTA, Ga. - Chase Burnette homered twice and drove in three runs to lead No. 3 Georgia Tech to a 9-4 win over Duke in the series finale Sunday afternoon at Russ Chandler Stadium.

Burnette went 3-for-4 with two of Georgia Tech's four home runs as the Yellow Jackets completed a three-game sweep. A junior outfielder, Burnette homered three times in the series while batting .538 with six RBI and a 1.231 slugging percentage in the three-game set.

Matt Skole and Thomas Nichols also homered for Georgia Tech (25-3, 11-1 ACC), which got a combined nine extra-base hits. The Yellow Jackets provided plenty of offense in support of starter Jed Bradley (4-1), who scattered two runs - one earned - over six complete innings. Duke tagged nine hits off of Bradley and five more off of reliever Luke Bard, but stranded 11 runners for the game.

Duke mounted a late comeback in the eighth and managed to get the tying run on deck with the bases loaded and one out, but came up empty against reliever Andrew Robinson. Robinson entered the game with two men on and one out in the eighth and stayed on to record the final five outs without allowing a hit.

The Blue Devils outhit Georgia Tech 14-13 with Eric Brady (3-for-5) and Brian Litwin (3-for-4) each recording three-hit games. Litwin's three hits were a career high while Brady also matched a career high. Junior shortstop Jake Lemmerman knocked a pair of hits to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 12 games while Will Currier and Marcus Stroman each added RBI singles.

The Yellow Jackets picked up where they left off from Saturday's 21-5 win and opened the game with consecutive doubles from leadoff man Jeff Rowland and two-hitter Derek Dietrich. Dietrich's RBI two-bagger was the second of four hits in the inning for the Yellow Jackets, who increased the lead to 2-0 on an RBI single from Cole Leonida.

Duke starter Dennis O'Grady (0-2) settled down after the first inning and faced the minimum through the second and third inning. He dished out a two-out walk to Rowland in the top of the third, but erased the mistake by picking him off at second base.

The Blue Devils managed just one hit off of Bradley through the first three frames, but strung together three singles and their first run in the top of the fourth. Sophomore Piwnica-Worms started the scoring sequence with a two-out single through the left side and then stole second to put himself in scoring position. He would come all the way around to score from there on the next at bat when Currier dropped a base hit into shallow center field, cutting the deficit to 2-1.

That would be as close as Duke came to tying the game, however, as the Yellow Jackets knocked two homers and three doubles in the bottom of the fourth on the way to a 7-1 lead. Burnette had a two-run shot over the right field wall, and Nichols had a solo homer to the right field gap to account for three of the five runs in the inning. Tony Plagman also had a two-run double for the final hit of the inning.

Georgia Tech gave Duke its second run of the game with a two-out error in the top of the fifth, but took it right back on a home run from Skole in the bottom half of the inning. Skole's homer - his ninth of the season - came on the fourth pitch he saw from reliever Ben Grisz, who entered the game in place of O'Grady at the start of the inning.

Grisz would shut out the Yellow Jackets in the bottom of the sixth before the Blue Devils trimmed the deficit to 8-3 with another run in the seventh. A two-out wild pitch plated leadoff hitter Ryan McCurdy, who led off the inning with a double.

Georgia Tech got another home run in the bottom of the seventh from Burnette - the Jackets' fourth of the game - to run the lead back to 9-3, but saw Duke take that run right back on an RBI single from Stroman in the eighth. Duke had a chance to cut into the deficit even more with two men on base and one out, but Robinson entered the game and retired two of the next three hitters to get out of the jam.

Robinson stayed on and retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the sweep for Georgia Tech.

Up next for Duke is a midweek showdown with William & Mary at the USA Baseball National Training Complex on Tuesday, April 6, at 6 p.m.

-d-u-k-e-


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