NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Duke’s magical postseason run came to an end Sunday evening, as the Blue Devils fell to second-ranked Vanderbilt, 13-2, in game three of the NCAA Nashville Super Regional at Hawkins Field.
Sunday’s Super Regional setback concludes another impressive season for the Blue Devils, highlighted by the program’s eighth appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The 2019 Blue Devils eclipsed the 30-win mark for the sixth consecutive campaign, closing out the season with a 35-27 overall record, while advancing to a Super Regional for the second consecutive season and second time in program history.
“First and foremost, congratulations to Vanderbilt on a historic season to date,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “I said before the Super Regional started that I thought that they were a historically good team, meaning that I think they are one of the best teams in college baseball in the last five or ten years and it certainly looked like that over the last two days. For us, it obviously stings this a lot to get this close two years in a row. To be one game away from Omaha two years in a row is very difficult. At the same time, I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. This team took a lot tougher path to get to a Super Regional.”
Vanderbilt got out to an early four-run lead with a pair of home runs in the very first frame. After a leadoff homer from Austin Martin gave the Commodore’s their first run of the day, a three-run shot from Pat DeMarco pushed Vanderbilt’s lead to 4-0 after one inning of play.
The Commodores returned to bat in the second to put up a two-spot to widen the advantage. The inning began with a leadoff walk before Martin recorded his second home run of the day with a two-run shot to left field to make it a 6-0 contest.
The Blue Devils got on the board in the third thanks to a solo shot from freshman Rudy Maxwell. Maxwell worked a full count in the very first at-bat of the inning before sending a ball over the left field wall to notch his fourth homer of the season and cut the deficit to 6-1.
Vanderbilt responded with three runs in the home half to regain momentum and make it a 9-1 ballgame. The scoring sequence began with a leadoff single to give the Commodores a baserunner. Two outs later, a RBI double to center field plated the first of the inning. After a RBI single scored another run for Vanderbilt, a second RBI single plated a third run in the frame to push the Commodores’ lead to eight.
Duke added its second run of the contest in the top of the fourth with a leadoff home run from sophomore Michael Rothenberg. The home run marked Rothenberg’s team-leading 11th homer of the season.
Vanderbilt went on to score four more runs in the contest across the final five innings, highlighted by two home runs, resulting in a final score of 13-2.
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