DURHAM, N.C. – Eight of Duke’s nine starters had a hit and Ryan Day earned his second quality start of the season as the Blue Devils picked up a 7-2 decision over Cornell in the second game of the series Saturday afternoon at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Duke moved to 8-2 with its seventh straight win while Cornell dropped to 0-5.
Duke received two hits each from Jimmy Herron, Joey Loperfido and Max Miller. That trio combined for a 6-for-10 performance with four runs and two RBI.
Day (1-0) earned his first victory of the season, tossing seven complete. The senior starter struck out seven without walking a batter, allowing two runs on five hits.
“Really only one pitch [Ryan would] like to have back,” said head coach Chris Pollard. “Other than that, Ryan pitched exceptionally well. He did a good job pitching to contact. You could tell he really had the sinker working. Got some groundballs that were chopped into the ground, which tells me he got a lot of heavy sink. He also did a good job with the run game as well.”
Sophomore Graeme Stinson pitched a scoreless eighth before senior Jack Labosky finished the game with a shutout ninth. In total, the Blue Devil pitching staff totaled 10 strikeouts without issuing a walk.
“Really liked Stinson there in the eighth,” Pollard said. “We didn’t walk a guy in nine innings of baseball. After giving up a little bit of free offense last night, we really answered the call today.”
Zack Kone tripled and scored on Michael Rothenberg’s RBI sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first to put Duke up 1-0 early. The Blue Devils tacked on two runs in the second after Chris Proctor and Kennie Taylor singled and scored on Joey Loperfido’s RBI base knock and Miller’s sac fly, respectively.
The 3-0 Duke advantage stood until the sixth when Cornell’s Ellis Bitar belted a two-run homer to right field.
The Blue Devils countered in the bottom half with Loperfido and Miller singling and scoring to establish a 5-2 lead. Rothenberg then added the final blow in the eighth, driving in a pair with a two-out, two-run base knock to center. Miller and Herron scored on the play after reaching base via a walk and a double.
Duke and Cornell conclude the series at 1 p.m., Sunday, March 4 at the DBAP. Blue Devil left-hander Mitch Stallings faces off against Big Red righty Tommy Morris on ACC Network Extra.