DURHAM, N.C. – Four Blue Devil pitchers combined on a four-hit shutout to help No. 14 Duke defeat Davidson, 5-0, Tuesday evening at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The Blue Devils’ fourth shutout of the season moved Duke to 28-7 on the year.
Sophomore Bill Chillari (5-0) turned in a career-high five innings to collect his fifth win of the season, allowing just two hits while striking out four. Freshmen Bryce Jarvis and Matt Dockman pitched the next three frames before senior Jack Labosky faced the minimum in a scoreless ninth.
“Every time [Chillari] had to make a pitch, he made it,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “Couple of big spots he had to make pitches with runners in scoring position and we were in a 1-0 dogfight the entire time he was in the game. It was a really good outing and the guys that came in behind him pitched very well.”
Duke’s three relievers faced one over the minimum the final four frames benefitting from a pair of exceptional double plays.
“What helped bolster those guys was the defense we played behind them,” Pollard added. “Our defense was as good as I’ve ever seen it. We turned double plays over the course of that game that not too many teams in the country turn.”
Jimmy Herron’s team-leading 10th double of the season ricocheted off the Blue Monster in the bottom of the first and Herron later crossed home on a wild pitch after advancing on a fly ball to center field.
Herron finished the night 2-for-4, extending his current on base streak to 15 games.
The game remained a 1-0 affair for four additional frames as Chillari and Davidson starter Jaret LaCagnina (0-4) put up matching zeroes.
Duke was able to break through in the sixth with five straight Blue Devils reached safely with one out. Zack Kone’s single started off the rally before Labosky drew a walk. Joey Loperfido bounced an RBI single through the right side prior to a Griffin Conine infield single. Max Miller’s base knock and Kennie Taylor’s sacrifice fly completed the scoring and Duke took a 5-0 lead into the seventh.
“We did a really nice job there in the sixth,” Pollard added.” I give a ton of credit to Zack Kone because he went up there and made an adjustment. Really squared a baseball up and that kind of got us going. Our guys were able to capitalize from there.”
Davidson did not have a runner reach scoring position the rest of the way, finishing the night with four hits, all singles. LaCagnina took the loss after permitting four runs on three hits over 5.1 innings.
Next up, Duke returns to ACC action with a road trip to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on Florida State Friday-Sunday, April 13-15.