DURHAM, N.C. – Designated hitter Jonathan Nicolla’s two-run double highlighted a seven-run first inning for Duke as the Blue Devils defeated St. Bonaventure, 14-6, on Saturday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 5-0 while the Bonnies fall to 0-2.
Second baseman Ryan McCurdy led off the first with a single up the middle. McCurdy then advanced all the way to third on a bunt single by center fielder Jonathan Anderson. Right fielder Jimmy Gallagher followed with an RBI-single through the right side to score McCurdy. Catcher Nate Freiman then sent an RBI-single to left center, scoring Anderson from second. After first baseman Jeremy Gould was hit a pitch to load the bases, Nicolla laced a two-run double down the left field line to score Gallagher and Freiman. Left fielder Alexander Hassan followed with an RBI-single through the left side, scoring Gould and moving Nicolla to third. Shortstop Gabriel Saade then ripped an RBI-double through the left side to score Nicolla. McCurdy capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to right that scored Hassan. The Blue Devils collected seven hits and had 11 at-bats in the opening inning.
Duke added a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to take a 9-0 lead. Gould started the inning with a single to right before moving to second on an infield single by Hassan. Two batters later, McCurdy sent a two-run double to right center, scoring Gould and Hassan.
St. Bonaventure scored four runs in the top of the sixth to make it a 9-4 ballgame but Duke answered with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning to extend their lead to 13-4. All four runs for the Blue Devils in the sixth came with two outs. Third baseman Brett Bartles doubled off the wall in right center to ignite the four-run frame. After a walk to Gould, Nicolla laced an RBI-single up the middle to score Bartles. Hassan then doubled off the left field wall to bring Gould and Nicolla across the plate. Saade finished the inning with an RBI-single to center to score Hassan.
In the bottom of the seventh, Duke took a 14-4 lead on an RBI-triple by Bartles. St. Bonaventure then added a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to close out the scoring at 14-6.
Nicolla and Hassan both went 3-for-4 with three RBI on the day to pace the Duke hitting attack. Freiman was 3-for-5 with one RBI and two runs scored, McCurdy finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored and Saade went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Bartles added two hits and an RBI and Gallagher finished with an RBI, as well for the Blue Devils.
Sophomore Andrew Wolcott (1-0) struck out three batters and held the Bonnies to five hits in five scoreless innings to pick up his first win of the season. Freshman Michael Seander added 2.1 scoreless innings of relief for the Blue Devils.
Duke will close out their three-game series with St. Bonaventure on Sunday at noon. The Blue Devils will then host Albany on Tuesday at 3 p.m. before traveling to Greenville, N.C., next weekend to play in the East Carolina Invitational. Duke will face Washington on Friday at 1 p.m., St. John’s on Saturday at 11 a.m. and East Carolina on Sunday at 2 p.m.