SPARTANBURG, S.C. - Landon Bennett drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the seventh inning to lead Wofford to a 6-4 lead over Duke on Wednesday afternoon at Russell C. King Field.
Bennett came to the plate with runners on second and third and delivered a base hit back up the middle to send in both runners and break a 4-4 tie. Freshman reliever Ryan Traylor then tossed his second scoreless inning in the eighth before J.D. Osborne closed out the ninth for his second save.
The Terriers (17-32) scored four of their six runs with two outs to back a six-inning start from freshman Brandon Yarusi, who scattered six hits and four runs in his first career start.
Duke freshman Marcus Stroman contributed two hits - including a double - while scoring twice in his second career start at shortstop. Jeremy Gould delivered an RBI double in the first inning for the Blue Devils while Ryan Munger and Joe Pedevillano both drove in runs in the fourth. Duke did not score after the fourth inning, however, as Yarusi, Traylor and Osborne combined to hold the Blue Devils to one hit over the remainder of the game.
The Blue Devils (28-22, 7-17 ACC) scored early and often, posting a 4-1 lead by the fourth inning. Will Piwnica-Worms started the early rally with a first-inning single followed by two stolen bases before Gould drove him in with a two-out double. From there, Duke got an RBI single from Ryan McCurdy in the second, an RBI base knock from Munger in the fourth and a sacrifice fly from Pedevillano.
Wofford scored on a Kyle Behrendt single in the bottom of the first, but was then shut out over the next two frames by Duke starter Michael Ness. Ness, who surrendered two hits to his first three batters, settled down almost immediately after Behrendt's base knock and retired nine of his next 10 batters.
Ness' luck changed just as quickly, however, as the Terriers mounted a three-run rally with two outs in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4. Ness retired the first two batters in that frame, but Wofford followed with three straight hits, including an RBI double from Konstantine Diamaduros and an RBI single from Clark Wise. Ness nearly got out of the inning with the lead still intact, but a Duke fielding error on a ground ball allowed the tying run to score.
Ness pitched one more scoreless frame in the fifth before the Blue Devils went to the bullpen and brought in reliever Ben Grisz to throw the sixth. Grisz (3-2) kept the game tied at 4-4 with a scoreless first frame, but gave up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh when Bennett laced a two-run single up the middle with two outs.
The Terriers also went to the bullpen in the seventh and called on Traylor, who kept the Blue Devils scoreless heading into the ninth inning. Duke had a chance to chip away at the 6-4 deficit after putting the first two batters on in the eighth, but Traylor got a strikeout and then rolled a double-play ground ball to escape the threat with Wofford's two-run lead still intact.
Wofford then went to its ace left-hander Osborne in the ninth. Duke sophomore Joe Pedevillano tagged a two-out single, but Osborne quickly killed the rally with a strikeout to end the game.
Up next for Duke is a weekend series at ACC foe Virginia Tech on May 14-16 in Blacksburg, Va. Currently still in the hunt to make the ACC Tournament, Duke plays its final ACC series the following weekend at NC State on May 20-22.