CHARLOTTE, N.C. – First baseman Mike Rosenfeld hit his first two career home runs and right fielder Will Piwnica-Worms added another homer as Duke defeated Charlotte 12-5 on Tuesday evening at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium.
Rosenfeld extended his career-high hitting streak to 14 games after going 4-for-6 with three RBI. The four hits are a new career high for Rosenfeld, while his three RBI matched his career best.
Freshman right-hander Andrew Istler (3-3) earned the win after holding the 49ers to two hits in five shutout innings in his first career start. Istler struck out a career-high five batters without issuing a walk in the win. Istler had a pair of strikeouts in the second inning and later struck out the final two batters that he faced in the fifth.
Duke (16-26) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame. Center fielder Grant McCabe drew a leadoff walk on four pitches to start the game. Three batters later, Rosenfeld crushed a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left center for a two-out, two-run jack. It was the first career home run for Rosenfeld.
A three-run fifth inning gave the Blue Devils a 5-0 lead. With one out on the board, Rosenfeld belted the first pitch of his at bat to deep center field for a solo shot. It was the second homer of the game for Rosenfeld. Second baseman Mark Lumpa then drew a walk. Lumpa would then steal second, and when the throw from catcher Patrick Raley sailed into center field, he advanced to third. Following a walk to left fielder David Perkins, designated hitter Jeff Kremer sent a sacrifice fly to the wall in center to drive in Lumpa. After Perkins stole second to get into scoring position, shortstop Angelo La Bruna dropped an RBI-single into shallow center field.
Catcher Reed Anthes led off the top of the sixth with a single up the middle. After McCabe moved Anthes over to second with a sacrifice bunt, Anthes would advance to third on a wild pitch. A second wild pitch, which was ball four to Piwnica-Worms, allowed Anthes to score from third. Piwnica-Worms would later come around and score on a passed ball, putting Duke ahead 7-0.
Third baseman Shane Basen put Charlotte (17-22) on the board with an RBI-single in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 7-1.
The 49ers added a run in the seventh, scoring on a wild pitch to make it a 7-2 ballgame.
After McCabe drew a one-out walk in the eighth, Piwnica-Worms turned on a 1-1 offering and sent a two-run homer to deep left field, giving the Blue Devils a 9-2 advantage. It was the fourth home run of the season for Piwnica-Worms and the 15th of his career.
Designated hitter Tony Montalbano added a sacrifice fly to right and second baseman Justin Seager had an RBI-single to center in the bottom of the eighth to cut the Duke lead to 9-4.
The Blue Devils added three more runs in the top of the ninth to extend their lead to 12-4. In his first career at bat, freshman Sarkis Ohanian lined the second pitch he saw into center field for a leadoff single. La Bruna followed with a single of his own. After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, Anthes lifted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Ohanian. McCabe then sent an RBI-single to left to score La Bruna. Two batters later, third baseman Jordan Betts brought McCabe home with an RBI-single to the gap in left center.
49er left fielder Michael Green added an RBI-double with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to account for the final margin.
McCabe finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs, while La Bruna and Anthes both added two hits, an RBI and a run. Betts extended his season-long hitting streak to 10 games, finishing 2-for-5 with an RBI. Piwnica-Worms had a two-run homer and scored twice, Lumpa and Ohanian both had a hit and a run, Kremer added a hit and an RBI and Perkins scored once for the Blue Devils.
Duke will face No. 19 N.C. State this weekend in Raleigh. Friday’s series-opener is set for a 6:30 p.m. start, Saturday’s game will begin at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday’s series finale will be at 1 p.m.
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