Sean McNally and the first conference sweep for the Blue Devils since 2004.BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Duke Blue Devils completed a three-game sweep of Virginia Tech with a 5-3 win over the Hokies on Sunday afternoon at English Field. It is the first ACC sweep for head coach
Duke’s last conference sweep came back in 2004, when the Blue Devils won all three games against Wake Forest (April 9-11).
Duke (11-14, 4-5 ACC) grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the second. With runners at second and third and two outs on the board, designated hitter Matt Berezo sent a two-run single back up the middle to drive in first baseman Aaron Cohn and third baseman Jordan Betts. McNally then signaled for a hit and run and shortstop Angelo LaBruna delivered a single through the right side to move Berezo to third. McNally then had LaBruna purposely get caught in a run down between first and second, which allowed Berezo to trot home.
Catcher Mark Zagunis had a one-out triple to center in the bottom of the third. Left fielder Tyler Horan then smoked a groundball back up the middle that Duke starter Robert Huber knocked down with his legs. Huber bounced off the mound and fired to first to get the out but Zagunis was able to score on the play to cut Duke’s lead to 3-1.
With one down and a runner on third in the fifth, Horan sent a high fly ball to the warning track in left field where Andrew Istler made a nice catch against the wall. Horan’s sacrifice fly allowed second baseman Alex Perez to score to make it a 3-2 ballgame.
Cohn led off the top of the seventh with an infield single. Betts then hammered a 3-2 pitch to straightaway center that cleared the 400-foot sign for a two-run homer, giving the Blue Devils a 5-2 lead. It was the second home run of the season for Betts and the third of his career.
Shortstop Johnny Morales added an RBI-single in the ninth for the Hokies (17-9, 2-7 ACC) to account for the final margin.
Huber (3-3) earned the win after holding Virginia Tech to two runs on five hits in five innings of work. Huber had three strikeouts on the day. Drew Van Orden came in and tossed a scoreless sixth before leaving in the seventh after issuing a walk. David Putman then came on in relief of Van Orden and pitched the final three innings to earn his second save of the year. Putman struck out three batters and held the Hokies to one run on two hits. It was the fourth save of his career.
Betts led the Blue Devils at the plate, finishing 1-for-4 with his two-run homer and two runs scored. Berezo went 1-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored, while Cohn added a hit and scored twice. Istler, catcher Mike Rosenfeld, right fielder Grant McCabe and LaBruna all added a hit in the victory.
Andrew Aizenstadt (2-1) took the loss after giving up five runs on six hits in 6.1 innings.
Duke continues its eight-game road swing this week. The Blue Devils face Davidson on the road on Tuesday before heading to Atlanta to take on Georgia Tech next weekend.