DURHAM, N.C. – Duke blasted a season-high 20 hits in a 13-3 win over Villanova to sweep the series on Sunday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field.
Sophomore Jeff Kremer and freshmen Jordan Betts and Chris Marconcini combined for 10 of Duke’ 13 RBI, and freshman outfielder Anthony D’Alessandro went 5-for-5 in the offensive explosion. Kremer finished 4-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI, Betts drove in a career-high four RBI with three hits, and Marconcini went 3-for-5 with three RBI and his third triple of the week.
Six of Duke’s hits went for extra bases, including the two-out, bases-loaded triple from Marconcini, who now leads the team with 13 RBI, three triples and eight runs scored. Marconcini also crossed the plate three times in Sunday’s finale while improving his batting average to .400. Will Piwnica-Worms and Jordan Betts also doubled, and Betts raised his season average to an even .500 with 14 hits in 28 at bats on the year.
The Blue Devils (7-1) won their sixth straight game, had a hit in every inning, had five players finish with multiple knocks and had eight players record a hit, including sophomore Al Morris who knocked his first career single in the eighth inning.
Duke starting pitcher Dennis O’Grady (2-0) picked up his second win this season, scattering three hits over his six complete innings and giving up only one earned run on a Villanova home run by Matt Fleishman in the sixth. Dillon Haviland, David Putman and Josh Ruffin provided the final three innings of relief and shut down the Wildcats (2-4) by allowing only three hits and one earned run.
Duke (7-1) scored a season-high 13 runs on a season-high 20 hits. The last time the Blue Devils had 20 hits was March 2, 2008 against Columbia. Piwnica-Worms, the ACC leader with six stolen bases, and Marconcini each stole a base as Duke has now stolen 21 bases in 28 attempts this season.
The Blue Devils struck first in the bottom half of the first inning when Marconcini ripped a single back up the middle and was immediately driven in for the first run of the game from an RBI double by Kremer. Duke would go on to score two more runs from an RBI double by Betts and an RBI on a single by D’Alessandro that scored Betts from second.
Duke got on the board again in the third inning scoring seven runs, including five with two outs. Betts started the inning with an RBI single that scored Kremer from second after a leadoff double. Freshman shortstop Angelo LaBruna picked up the second run of the inning on a single that scored Betts from second. Following a walk to Stroman that loaded the bases, Marconcini then smashed a three-RBI triple down the right field line and then crossed the plate on a Piwnica-Worms single. Kremer picked up the final run of the inning for the Blue Devils from his second double of the inning and third of the game.
Duke added two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Kremer picked up his fourth hit in the game, a single that scored Stroman from third after he reached base on a leadoff single. Betts picked up his third RBI on a sacrifice fly to centerfield that put the Blue Devils up 12-0.
Villanova notched a run in the top of the sixth when Fleishman launched a home run over the left field wall, the first home run given up by Duke this season. The Wildcats plated another run in the top of the seventh when Steve Schrenk hit an RBI single that scored Jordan Zech from third after he reached base with a triple.
The Blue Devils added another run in the bottom of the seventh when Betts picked up RBI number four on the day from a single that scored Piwnica-Worms from second after he started the inning off with a double.
Duke will next host in-state rival High Point on Tuesday, March 1, at Jack Coombs Field. First pitch is scheduled for 3:15 p.m.
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