DURHAM, N.C. - Jamie Nunn had eight strikeouts in six innings and Nathan Hyatt escaped a bases-loaded jam in the ninth as Appalachian State held on for a 6-3 win over Duke on Tuesday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The win was the 12th straight victory for the Mountaineers.
Trailing 6-3 entering the bottom of the ninth, Duke loaded the bases with one out but could not score. After first baseman Matt Berezo drew a leadoff walk on a 3-2 pitch, shortstop Angelo LaBruna singled to right. Berezo would then advance to third on a fly out to right by pinch hitter David Perkins. Left fielder Anthony D'Alessandro then walked on a full count to load the bases with one out. Hyatt would then strike out designated hitter Jeff Kremer and right fielder Grant McCabe to end the game.
Nunn (1-0) held the Blue Devils to one unearned run on three hits in his six innings of work. Josh Wilson pitched a scoreless seventh for the Mountaineers. Hyatt earned his sixth save of the season after escaping the bases-loaded jam in the ninth.
Appalachian State (14-2) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening frame, getting a two-run double off the left field wall from right fielder Tyler Tewell and an RBI-double from catcher Jeremy Dowdy. All three Mountaineer runs came with two outs on the board.
D'Alessandro led off the bottom of the first with a single to right on the first pitch that he saw. D'Alessandro would then advance to second on a failed pickoff attempt before moving to third on a groundout to second by Kremer. McCabe then dropped an RBI-single right in front of left fielder Preston Troutman to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
Troutman added an RBI-single in the fourth to push the Appalachian State lead to 4-1.
With a runner on third and two outs in the top of the fifth, Tewell sent a hard-hit line drive to the gap in left center but D'Alessandro was there to make a great diving catch to keep the score at 4-1.
Shortstop Will Callaway doubled into the left field corner to start the top of the eighth for the Mountaineers. Designated hitter Daniel Kassouf then hammered a 1-2 pitch over the wall in left center for a two-run homer. It was the fifth home run of the year for Kassouf and it gave Appalachian State a 6-1 advantage.
Duke (7-12) answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the eighth to cut the ASU lead to 6-3. Catcher Reed Anthes lined the first pitch of the inning into left center for a leadoff single. It was the first hit of his career for the freshman catcher. D'Alessandro was then hit by a pitch. Two batters later, McCabe singled through the left side to load the bases with one out. Center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to bring Anthes home. Second baseman Andy Perez followed with an RBI-double down the left field line to score D'Alessandro.
McCabe went 2-for-4 with an RBI to lead Duke offensively. D'Alessandro was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, while Piwnica-Worms and Perez both had a hit and an RBI. Anthes was 1-for-1 with a run scored and third baseman Jordan Betts and LaBruna both added a hit.
Freshman Dalton Brown (0-1) took the loss after allowing three runs on four hits in three innings in his first career start. Freshman Andrew Istler held the Mountaineers scoreless in a shutout ninth. Istler needed only nine pitches to get through the final inning.
Duke's eight-game homestand will continue this weekend as the Blue Devils welcome Miami to town for a three-game series. Friday's series-opener is set for a 6 p.m. start, Saturday's game will begin at 2 p.m. and Sunday's series finale will be at 1 p.m. GoDuke.com will have exclusive live video coverage of the entire series.