CHARLESTON, S.C. – Drew Van Orden threw 3.1 scoreless innings in relief to lead a shutout effort from Duke’s bullpen in a 7-5 win over defending Southern Conference Champion The Citadel on Tuesday afternoon at Riley Park.
Van Orden (5-3) entered a tied game in the bottom of the sixth inning and the go-ahead run on third base and shut out The Citadel (20-33) the rest of the way. The 6-3, 180-pound freshman allowed only one runner to reach base and used just 37 pitches to end the game.
Six different Blue Devils drove in a run, including freshman Jordan Betts who drove in the game-winner with an RBI groundout in the top of the seventh. Classmate Matt Berezo also kept his hot streak alive with three hits and an RBI and is now batting .522 during his seven-game hitting streak.
Chase Bebout contributed 1.1 scoreless frames and Joe Pedevillano recorded two outs as Duke (25-28) did not allow a run after the fourth inning. Starter Dillon Haviland shut out The Citadel through three, but ran into trouble when a Duke fielding error in the fourth extended the inning and allowed the Bulldogs to score three unearned runs as part of a five-run inning. That would be the only inning that The Citadel managed to score a run.
Leadoff man Jeff Kremer started the scoring for Duke with a long RBI double to the right field warning track in the second that sparked a three-run inning. Kremer’s double came with runners on second and third and burned Bulldog right fielder Matt Simonelli to land just shy of the wall. Dennis O'Grady followed with an RBI base hit up the middle, and Chris Marconcini capped the rally with a sacrifice fly ball to left field for his team-leading 39th RBI of the season.
Haviland needed just 31 pitches to get through his first three innings and worked around three hits during that span. The freshman southpaw struck out three in the first three innings before The Citadel took advantage of a Duke fielding error in the fourth to score five runs and jump ahead 5-3. The error gave the Bulldogs an extra out and led to three unearned runs, including two that scored on a go-ahead two-out, two-run double by Matt Simonelli.
Duke struck back in the top of the fifth, however, and tied the game on an RBI infield single by Marcus Stroman. After a wild pitch sent in Duke’s first run and moved the tying run to third base, Stroman, who got his first career start in center field, laced a ground ball to the hole on the left side of the infield. Citadel shortstop Legare Jones made a sliding stop to keep the ball in the infield, but Stroman was already close enough to first base to eliminate a throw. David Perkins, who was on third, left on contact and crossed the plate uncontested to tie the game.
Bebout, Pedevillano and Van Orden got Duke through the next two innings to keep the game tied at 5-5 in the seventh. The Bulldogs then made a costly error when Jones misplayed a potential double play ground ball and let it skip off his glove into center field. The error put runners on second and third, and Jordan Betts sent in the go-ahead run with a groundout to the right side that put Duke on top 6-5.
Van Orden stayed on to throw a scoreless eighth and a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the victory. Berezo gave him one more run for insurance with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth that increased Duke’s lead to 7-5.
Following Tuesday’s victory, Duke will close out the 2011 season this weekend with a three-game series at No. 16 Miami on Thursday through Saturday, May 19-21.