DURHAM, N.C. – In a high scoring game featuring 20 hits and three home runs, the Black Team held off a late rally to down the Blue Team, 11-8, in the first game of the Duke baseball program’s annual Fall World Series Wednesday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.
Sophomore Matt Mervis blasted a two-run homer and pitched two innings of scoreless relief to lead the Black Team. Mervis fanned three and did not yield a hit in his outing.
Senior captain Max Miller led all players with three hits, including two that went for doubles. Junior Chris Proctor, sophomore Chase Cheek and freshman Joey Loperfido added two hits each for a Black Team that totaled 14, including six for extra bases, on the day.
After scoring in each of the first seven innings, the Black Team appeared well on the way to a lopsided victory. Miller and Proctor tallied back-to-back, two-out RBI doubles in the top of the sixth to make it an 11-3 game.
Blue countered in the bottom of the seventh. After a leadoff walk to freshman Wil Hoyle, junior Zack Kone belted his second home run of the game to trim the margin, 11-5. Kone went 2-for-4 with five RBI for the Blue Team.
The Blue Team later loaded the bases with nobody out when junior Griffin Conine walked, senior Jack Labosky singled and freshman Steve Mann reached via error. Graduate student Ethan DeCaster would settle down and quell the rally, getting a fielder’s choice, strikeout and grounder to first to end the game.
Sophomore Coleman Williams suffered the loss for the Blue Team, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks over three innings. Mervis picked up the win for the Black Team.
Duke resumes its Fall World Series at 4 p.m., Friday, Oct. 20 at the DBAP. The game is open to the public and admission is free.