DURHAM, N.C. -- The Black Team scored three runs the first two innings then held off the Blue Team down the stretch to clinch the Duke baseball program's 2017 Fall World Series. The Black Team earned an 11-8 victory in Wednesday's game one.
Freshman right-hander Josh Nifong and sophomore lefty Adam Laskey combined to throw five dominant innings for the Black Team. The underclassman duo struck out 11 while walking three batters and yielding three hits. Nifong used an electric fastball to fan seven of the first 10 batters he faced to earn the win. Not to be outdone, Laskey retired six of the seven batters he faced to stymie the Blue Team's offense.
Freshman Toma Shigaki-Than recorded the unconventional save to preserve the series-clinching win. After retiring his first two batters, Shigaki-Than walke two to put the tying run at first. A wild pitch appeared to move the runners into scoring position, but junior catcher Chris Proctor fired a laser to third to nab senior Michael Smiciklas, who rounded the bag at third.
Senior James McGhee reached base in all four of his plate appearances during the series and recorded the game-winning hit in the second. McGhee drove in freshman Joey Loperfido with a two-out single. Loperfido knocked in sophomore Chase Cheek earlier in the second with a double down the left field line.
Despite the series-clinching victory Friday, the two teams meet in the Fall World Series' game three at 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.