WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – No. 14 Duke dropped its first series since opening weekend, falling to Wake Forest 6-3 in the finale Monday night at David F. Couch Ballpark. Tied 2-2 through four, the Demon Deacons scored three in the fifth and did not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
Duke (27-7, 10-5 ACC) scored single runs in the first, third and sixth but could not break through against the Demon Deacons’ Colin Peluse (5-0) and Rayne Supple. Peluse allowed three runs on seven hits in seven complete innings before Supple faced the two over the minimum over two innings for his fourth save of the year.
“[Peluse] pitched a good ballgame,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “He’s a good competitor and pitches with a lot of adrenaline and intensity. Supple came in and did a nice job as well. Both those guys have good numbers coming into the ballgame and they pitched like it tonight.”
Left fielder Jimmy Herron accounted for two of Duke’s eight hits in addition to a first-inning walk and two stolen bases. Catcher Chris Proctor doubled in the third to extend his current hit streak to 10 games.
After Herron singled and scored on a Kone RBI groundout in the first, Bobby Seymour snuck a two-run homer in the bottom half to give Wake Forest a 2-1 lead after one.
Jack Labosky’s two-out RBI single in the third plated Proctor to tie at the game at two-all. The contest remained a stalemate until the Demon Deacons’ three-run fifth. Four straight Wake Forest batters reached with one out as the Demon Deacons took the lead on Michael Ludowig’s RBI single. A Chris Lanzilli sacrifice fly couples with a Logan Harvey RBI base knock gave Wake Forest a 5-2 lead after five.
Kennie Taylor’s two-out RBI single in the sixth made it a two-run game, but Duke could not string offense together the final three frames.
“[Wake Forest] had some good fortune go their way,” Pollard said. “Three infield hits there in the fifth. At the same time, we had some opportunities. We need to do a little bit better job of capitalizing on those. We had a couple of big two-out at bats. Jack [Labosky] had a nice two-out RBI base knock. Kennie Taylor had a nice two-out RBI knock. We did a good job of manufacturing there in the first. We didn’t string enough together.”
Sophomore Graeme Stinson pitched well in the loss, allowing four runs on six hits over 4.1 innings in his first ACC start of the season. Classmate Matt Mervis pitched a season-high 3.2 in relief to keep the game within striking distance.
“It was a tough ask of Graeme Stinson,” Pollard added. “He found out he was going to have to take the ball about seven minutes before the game started. He came in and competed great. Matt Mervis came in and did a really nice job behind him. I’m really proud of both those guys and the way they threw the ball and competed tonight.”
Duke steps out of ACC play to take on Davidson at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park Tuesday, April 10 at 6 p.m., before traveling to Tallahassee, Fla., for a three-game series against Florida State.