CARY, N.C. - Jeremy Gould drove in a career-high five RBI, and Ben Grisz and Marcus Stroman combined for six shutout innings out of the bullpen to lead Duke to a 9-5 win over William and Mary on Tuesday evening at the USA Baseball National Training Complex.
Gould sent in all five of his runs in his first two at bats with a two-out, two-run homer in the first inning and a three-run double in the third. Ranked eighth all-time at Duke with a .336 career batting average, Gould finished 2-for-4 for his sixth multi-hit performance in his last eight games.
Grisz (2-1) took over in the top of fourth inning and shut out the Tribe (17-11) for four complete innings before Stroman fired two hitless frames in the eighth and ninth. Grisz notched the win and lowered his ERA to 2.93 while Stroman struck out three to give him 28 punchouts in his first 21 innings of work.
Grisz and Stroman's performance enabled the Blue Devils (17-12, 3-9 ACC) to maintain a four-run lead even with the William and Mary bullpen throwing five shutout innings to end the game. Duke tagged starter Cole Shain for seven earned runs in 1.1 innings and got two more off of reliever Garrison Sarrett before Sarrett, Matt Davenport and Jay McCarthy shut down the Duke offense for the remainder of the game.
The Blue Devils scored nine runs in the first three innings and got three homers during that span, all of which came with two outs. Senior Will Currier knocked the first long ball with two outs in the top of the first before Gould followed with his two-run blast in the same inning. Junior shortstop Jake Lemmerman chipped in another two-run bomb in the top of the third.
Lemmerman's home run was his fourth in his past six games and extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games. During that run, Lemmerman is batting .327 with five home runs, 12 RBI and 10 runs scored. He has also made just one error during that span and leads all ACC shortstops this season with a .983 fielding percentage.
William and Mary jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, thanks to a pair of two-run homers from Jonathan Slattery and Chris Forsten. Both shots came with two outs with Slattery's clearing the left field wall just inside the foul pole and Forsten's flying over the scoreboard in the left field gap. Both homers came off of freshman starter Chase Bebout, who had not allowed a homer in his first 23 innings to that point.
Duke responded with its own two-out rally in the bottom half of the first and got two homers from Currier and Gould and an RBI single from Brian Litwin to tie the game at 4-4. Currier started the offensive explosion with a solo shot down the left field line before Gould drove in two more runs with another blast to the left field gap. Dennis O'Grady kept the rally going with a double to set the table for Litwin's two-strike single into right-center field.
The Blue Devils bats stayed hot in the second and strung together five hits on the way to a 7-4 lead. All three runs came on one swing of the bat when Gould followed up three straight singles with a bases-loaded double. The three-run double gave Gould a career-high five RBI in his first two at bats.
William and Mary took back one of those runs on a two-out single from Forsten in the top of the third to trim Duke's lead to 7-5. Forsten's two-run single was his second two-out hit of the day and drove in Slattery, who knocked a double earlier in the inning.
Duke got another bomb in the bottom of the third from Lemmerman, who crushed a two-run shot over the left field wall to bump the Blue Devil lead to 9-5. Lemmerman battled Sarrett into a 3-2 count and fouled off two pitches before crushing his eighth homer of the season well over the left-center wall. It was the junior shortstop's fourth home run in the past six games and Duke's third of the game.
Duke went to the bullpen in the fourth and brought in Grisz, who held the Tribe scoreless for the next four innings. Grisz gave up just three hits - including two infield singles - and matched a career high with his four innings of work.
Stroman took over for Grisz in the top of the eighth and kept the scoreless streak alive without allowing a hit in the final two innings. Stroman would strike out three batters in his two innings while allowing just one batter to reach on a walk.
Duke will now have two days to prepare for No. 13 Clemson, which comes to town for a three-game series on April 9-11 at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, N.C.
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