DURHAM, N.C. – The Duke baseball team collected 15 hits and scored 13 runs, including five in the eighth inning, to defeat St. Bonaventure, 13-4, on Friday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils improve to 4-0 while the Bonnies fall to 0-1.
St. Bonaventure took a 1-0 lead in the opening frame, scoring on an RBI-single by third baseman Matt Mardeusz.
Duke tied the game at one run apiece in the bottom of the second. Third baseman Brett Bartles doubled into the left field corner to start the inning. Bartles would then advance to third on a groundout to short by designated hitter Jeremy Gould. Catcher Matt Williams then laced an RBI-single up the middle to score Bartles.
The Blue Devils added a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to take a 3-1 lead. Shortstop Gabriel Saade drew a walk to lead off the inning. Two batters later, center fielder Jonathan Anderson reached on a bunt single to give Duke runners at first and second. Saade then stole third and Anderson stole second but the throw from St. Bonaventure catcher Brandon Salerno skipped under the third baseman’s glove, allowing Saade to score. With two outs, first baseman Nate Freiman reached base on a throwing error by Bonnies’ shortstop Josh Perkins. The throwing error allowed Anderson to score from second as the Blue Devils took a two-run lead.
The Bonnies made it a one-run game at 3-2 in the top of the fifth on an RBI-single by center fielder Randy Moley.
Duke responded in the bottom half of the inning, scoring twice to take a 5-2 lead. After second baseman Ryan McCurdy singled up the middle to start the inning, Anderson moved McCurdy to second on a sacrifice bunt. Right fielder Jimmy Gallagher followed with an RBI-single to center field, scoring McCurdy. After a Bonnies’ pitching change, Gallagher stole second and third to set up Freiman’s RBI-single up the middle.
A three-run seventh inning gave the Blue Devils an 8-2 advantage. After Bartles led off with a single to short, the junior stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Gould then reached second and Bartles scored on a two-base error by Bonnies’ second baseman Kevin Suminski. Gould would then move to third on a sacrifice fly by Williams before scoring on a sacrifice fly by left fielder Alexander Hassan. After Saade was hit by a pitch, the freshman advanced all the way to third on a wild pitch, sliding in safely under the tag of Mardeusz. McCurdy then delivered an RBI-single to center to cap the inning.
St. Bonaventure got a two-run homer from first baseman Brian Pellegrini in the top of the eighth to close the score to 8-4.
The Blue Devils answered with a five-run eighth inning to take a 13-4 lead. After Gallagher and Freiman had back-to-back singles to start off the inning, both runners moved into scoring position on a balk. Bartles then sent an RBI-sacrifice fly to right field to score Gallagher. Two batters later, Williams lined an RBI-single to center, scoring Freiman. Two straight walks to Hassan and Saade loaded the bases for the Blue Devils. McCurdy then drew another walk to score Williams. Anderson then capped off the inning with a two-run single to right, scoring Hassan and Saade.
Williams led the Blue Devils at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Anderson went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI and a run scored while McCurdy and Freiman were both 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored and Bartles and Gallagher both collected two hits, drove in a run and scored two runs each.
Senior Tony Bajoczky improved to 2-0 on the season, holding the Bonnies to two runs on four hits in five innings of work. Freshman Michael Ness came on in relief and held St. Bonaventure to two runs on three hits in three innings pitched. Bajoczky and Ness both registered four strikeouts in the win. Freshman Christopher Manno closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, striking out the last two batters he faced.
The Blue Devils and the Bonnies will play again tomorrow at 1 p.m. before wrapping up the series on Sunday at noon at Jack Coombs Field.