DURHAM, N.C. – North Carolina A&T’s Joe McIntyre broke a 9-9 tie with an RBI-double in the top of the 11th and the Aggies added three more runs in the inning to defeat Duke, 13-9, on Tuesday afternoon at Jack Coombs Field. The Blue Devils fall to 29-22 on the season while the Aggies improve to 24-29.
Leftfielder Jeremy Jones drew a leadoff walk and rightfielder Phillip Brewington followed with a bunt single to begin the top of the 11th. McIntyre then lined an RBI-double to center to drive in Jones. Third baseman Nelson Santos followed with a two-run triple to right center, scoring Brewington and McIntyre. Designated hitter Kory Kinnear capped the four-run frame with an RBI-single to right to bring in Santos and give the Aggies a 13-9 advantage.
Duke trailed 9-6 entering the bottom of the eighth and scored three runs to tie the game and eventually send it into extra innings. Third baseman Brett Bartles singled to center to start the frame. Two batters later, leftfielder Alexander Hassan drew a walk, moving Bartles into scoring position. First baseman Jonathan Nicolla then blasted a 3-2 pitch to deep left center for a game-tying three run jack. It was the third home run of the season for Nicolla and the ninth of his career. All three home runs for Nicolla this year have come in the last five games.
North Carolina A&T jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the second. First baseman Charlie Gamble drew a leadoff walk before advancing to second on a single by McIntyre. Santos moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt and Kinnear followed with an RBI-single through the left side to score Gamble. Catcher Neil Rosser then reached on an infield single to load the bases. Centerfielder CJ Beatty would walk to score McIntyre and second baseman Joe Wade drove in Kinnear with an RBI-groundout to short. Shortstop Nick Mayo then reached on a Duke error that allowed Rosser to score but Beatty was thrown out at the plate by Bartles to end the inning.
McIntyre added an RBI-double to right center in the top of the third to push A&T’s lead to 5-0.
The Blue Devils scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the third to make it a 5-2 ballgame. Centerfielder Jimmy Gallagher doubled to right before moving to third on a bunt single by rightfielder Jonathan Anderson. Catcher Nate Freiman then reached base and drove in Gallagher on a fielder’s choice. Bartles drew a walk to knock A&T starter Ryan Sellers out of the game and designated hitter Matt Williams followed with an RBI-single up the middle to score Freiman.
Gallagher and Anderson drew back-to-back walks in the bottom of the fourth. After a passed ball allowed both runners to move up a base, Freiman laced a two-run single through the left side to cut A&T’s lead to 5-4.
McIntyre extended the Aggies lead to 6-4 with a solo shot to right in the top of the fifth.
North Carolina A&T threatened to add to their lead in the top of the sixth. Following a one-out walk to Beatty, Wade doubled down the left field line but Beatty was thrown out at third by Hassan. Mayo then singled through the left side and when Wade tried to score on the play, he was gunned down by Hassan at the plate to keep the score at 6-4.
The Blue Devils tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom of the sixth. Anderson reached on an A&T error to begin the inning. Freiman then sent an RBI-double to left center to score Anderson from first. Bartles would move Freiman to third on a fly out to right and Williams lifted a sacrifice fly to center to drive him home.
McIntyre had an RBI-double and Santos added an RBI-single in the top of the seventh to give the Aggies an 8-6 advantage.
Jones then homered in the top of the eighth to extend A&T’s lead to 9-6 before Nicolla tied it at 9-9 with his three-run shot in the bottom half of the frame.
Bartles went 3-for-6 with a double and a run scored to pace the Blue Devils at the plate. Nicolla finished 2-for-5, Freiman was 2-for-6 with a double, four RBI and two runs scored and Anderson went 2-for-6 with two runs scored. Second baseman Kyle Butler added a 2-for-2 day while Williams went 1-for-5 with two RBI, Gallagher was 1-for-5 with a double and two runs scored and Saade finished 1-for-4.
A&T’s Ronald Phelps improved to 5-4 with the win, holding the Blue Devils to one hit in 2.1 scoreless frames.
Junior Ryan Perry (0-1) took the loss for Duke and freshman Michael Seander struck out a career-high five batters in a career-high 3.2 innings of relief.
Duke wraps up their season with a trip to Miami Thursday through Saturday. Thursday and Friday’s games will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s season finale will be at 1 p.m. All three games will be carried by ACC Select.
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