DURHAM, N.C. – Second baseman Ryan McCurdy scored from second on a passed ball to break a 5-5 tie in the bottom of the seventh and freshman Michael Seander and senior Jonathan Anderson held Holy Cross scoreless over the next two innings as Duke held on for a 6-5 victory on Sunday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. With the win, the Blue Devils improve to 13-1 on the season while the Crusaders fall to 1-5.
Duke jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Catcher Matt Williams reached on an infield single to start the inning before moving to second on a single through the left side by designated hitter Jeremy Gould. Left fielder Tim Sherlock then singled to left to load the bases. Shortstop Gabriel Saade followed with a two-run double to right center, scoring Williams and Gould. After a passed ball allowed Sherlock to score and Saade to move to third, third baseman Jonathan Foreman had an RBI-groundout to short, scoring Saade.
Holy Cross got three unearned runs in the top of the third to make it a 4-3 ballgame.
The Blue Devils added a run in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 5-3. After Williams reached on another infield single to begin the frame, Gould sent an RBI-double to left to score Williams.
The Crusaders scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth on a two-run single by left fielder Jamie Aldrich to tie the game at 5-5. With Aldrich on first, sophomore Kyle Butler came on in relief and got shortstop Joe Moore to ground out into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play.
McCurdy led off the bottom of the seventh with a single to left before advancing to second on a sacrifice bunt by Anderson. After right fielder Jimmy Gallagher was intentionally walked and Holy Cross got the first out of the inning, McCurdy scored all the way from second on a passed ball to give Duke a 6-5 lead.
Seander then got out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the eighth with a strikeout and Anderson worked a scoreless ninth to preserve to 6-5 victory.
Butler (1-0) picked up his first career win, holding the Crusaders hitless in 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. Freshman Alexander Hassan had another solid start for Duke and left with the lead after five innings of work. Seander struck out two batters in the eighth and Anderson recorded his third save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.
Saade went 1-for-2 with a two-run double to lead the Blue Devils at the plate. Gould finished 2-for-3 with an RBI-double, Williams was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and Foreman went 1-for-4 with an RBI. McCurdy and Sherlock both finished the day 1-for-4 with a run scored.
The Blue Devils will play a pair of non-conference games this week, hosting Temple on Tuesday and Xavier on Wednesday. Both games are set for a 3 p.m. start. Duke will then open ACC play against Boston College next weekend at home.