DURHAM, N.C. – Freshman Drew Van Orden picked up his second win in his first career start with six innings of three-hit baseball as Duke downed Campbell 9-2 on Tuesday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
Van Orden (2-1) threw the first six innings, giving up only three hits, one walk and two unearned runs. Reliever Ben Grisz and reigning ACC Freshman of the Year Marcus Stroman came in to finish off the Fighting Camels with a combined three scoreless innings in which they surrendered only one hit. Stroman, a two-way second baseman, struck out two out of the four batters he faced in the ninth in his first appearance of the season.
Designated hitter Dennis O’Grady, who was named ACC Pitcher of the Week on Monday, drove in two runs and crossed the plate twice for Duke (3-1). Freshman David Perkins also drove in two runs and scored a run, and Joe Pedevillano added another run following his first career triple.
“It was tight early, and we were fortunate to have one big inning,” head coach Sean McNally said. “We didn’t do a ton offensively, but we ran the bases really hard and really effectively, which is going to be critical for us going forward. We got some big two-out hits; those are really game-changers, they build momentum. We had some different guys stepping up. Dennis had a big knock, Perkins had a big knock, [Angelo] LaBruna had a big two-out knock.”
Duke was aggressive on the base paths, stealing six bases without being caught. Junior Will Piwnica-Worms stole his third base of the year as one of six different Blue Devils to record a steal. Duke is now 15-for-19 on the base paths through four games this season
The Blue Devils scored their nine runs on six hits and nine walks, which ties the season high they set in their last game, a 7-0 win over Richmond.
Campbell jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first inning after taking advantage of two hit batsmen and a Duke throwing error that came on a stolen base.
Duke answered with a seven-run inning in the bottom half of the third when Piwnica-Worms drove in Duke’s first run with an RBI groundout that sparked a six-run, two-out rally. Following consecutive walks to Jeff Kremer and Jordan Betts, O’Grady knocked in two runs with a base hit up the middle and then scored along with Betts on a double from Perkins. LaBruna squeaked one more run out of the inning with a two-out single that put Duke on top 7-2.
After the big inning, Van Orden took control and did not allow a run over his next three innings. Van Orden would retire seven of his next eight batters and worked out of a jam in the sixth to maintain Duke’s lead.
Duke added one more run in the bottom half of the fourth to take an 8-2 lead after Betts singled up the middle to score Piwnica-Worms, who reached base on Duke’s fourth walk of the game.
Grisz took over for Van Orden in the seventh and gave up just one hit in his two innings. Stroman took the mound in the ninth and bookended his first appearance of the season with a pair of called strikeouts.
Up next for Duke is a 3 p.m. showdown with N.C. Central at historic Durham Athletic Park on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The Blue Devils will then return to Jack Coombs Field on Feb. 25-27 when they host Villanova in a three-game series.