GREENVILLE, N.C. – The Duke Blue Devils defeated the St. John’s Red Storm, 4-2, on Saturday afternoon at Clark-LeClair Stadium. The Blue Devils improve to 9-0 while the Red Storm, who won 40 games a season ago, fall to 0-5.
Duke took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Second baseman Ryan McCurdy led off the game with a double down the left field line. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Jonathan Anderson, McCurdy scored on an RBI-groundout by right fielder Jimmy Gallagher, giving the Blue Devils a one-run advantage.
St. John’s tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth, scoring on an RBI-single by catcher Brendan Monaghan.
The Blue Devils added a pair of runs in the top of the seventh to go ahead 3-1. First baseman Jonathan Nicolla led off the inning with a double to left. Left fielder Alexander Hassan then sent a grounder down the first base line that snuck under Ryan Mahoney’s glove and bounced off the base, allowing Nicolla to score from second. Shortstop Gabriel Saade followed with a single to right, giving Duke runners on the corners. After McCurdy moved Saade to second with a sacrifice bunt, Anderson was hit by a pitch, loading the bases. Gallagher then lifted a sacrifice fly to center to score Hassan.
The Red Storm cut the lead to 3-2 in the bottom of the eighth, getting a solo home run from right fielder Chris Anninos on a 3-2 count.
Duke added a run in the top of the ninth to extend its lead to 4-2. Saade singled through the left side before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt by McCurdy. Anderson then laced an RBI-double to left to score Saade.
Saade and Nicolla both went 2-for-4 with a run scored to pace the Blue Devils at the plate. Gallagher had two RBI on the day, Hassan was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, Anderson went 1-for-3 with an RBI and McCurdy finished 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Duke starter Andrew Wolcott improved to 2-0 on the season, holding the Red Storm to one run on five hits in six innings of work. The sophomore recorded five strikeouts in the win. Freshman Michael Seander picked up his second save of the year, striking out three batters in 1.2 scoreless innings.
The Blue Devils will face East Carolina on Sunday at 10 a.m. Duke returns to Jack Coombs Field on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. game against North Carolina A&T.