Duke Powers Its Way to 11-4 Win over No. 11 Virginia
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. Duke hit a pair of big home runs and used a strong pitching performance from Christopher Manno to notch an 11-4 win over the No. 11 Virginia baseball team Friday night at Davenport Field. In their first game back from a nine-day break for final exams, the Cavaliers committed three errors which led to four unearned runs.
Jake Lemmerman hit a grand slam and drove in five runs to lead the Duke offense. Nate Freiman also homered for the Blue Devils.
Steven Proscia (Fr., Suffern, N.Y.) and John Hicks (Fr., Sandy Hook, Va.) each hit solo home runs for the Cavaliers. Hicks had three hits total. UVa finished with 11 hits but missed out on several key opportunities, particularly in the first three innings. The Cavaliers left nine runners on base and went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Manno (5-4) earned the win for Duke after going six innings and allowing one earned run, six hits and one walk. He struck out eight. UVa starter Danny Hultzen (Fr., Bethesda, Md.) was dealt his first college defeat after going 5.1 innings. He gave up six runs, but only two were earned. Hultzen (6-1) also allowed six hits and one walk while striking out one.
The seven-run loss was Virginia’s largest margin of defeat this season and was UVa’s first ACC loss by more than three runs. Six of UVa’s ACC losses have come by one run.
The Blue Devils took advantage of a UVa error to grab a 2-0 first-inning lead. With one out, Matt Williams reached on an error by second baseman Phil Gosselin (So., West Chester, Pa.). Freiman then clubbed a long home run to right field to give Duke a 2-0 lead.
UVa put runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings but failed to cash in on the opportunities. The best chance came in the third, when UVa loaded the bases with no outs. Manno rebounded to get Gosselin to fly to short right field and induce Dan Grovatt (So., Tabernacle, N.J.) to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The Cavaliers broke through in the fourth when Proscia crushed second pitch of the inning over the left-field bleachers for his sixth home run of the year.
Duke responded with a run in the fifth inning when Lemmerman doubled in Joe Pedevillano.
The Blue Devils took control with a three-run sixth inning, benefitting from two costly Virginia errors. Freiman reached on an error by Proscia to start the inning, but Freiman was erased when Jeremy Gould bunted into a fielder’s choice. After an Alex Hassan single, Will Piwnica-Worms walked to load the bases and end Hultzen’s night.
Tyler Wilson (So., Midlothian, Va.) came on in relief and got Gabriel Saade to hit a sacrifice fly to left field. Pedevillano then lifted a fly ball to right field which Grovatt dropped, allowing both baserunners to score and push the Duke lead to 6-1.
The Blue Devils tacked on a run in the seventh, getting a two-out single from Hassan to score Williams.
UVa got to within 7-3 in the bottom of the seventh on a two-run Grovatt single, but Duke again came back with a big blow, a grand slam by Lemmerman off UVa reliever Will Roberts (Jr., Richmond, Va.) to double the lead and give the Blue Devils a commanding 11-3 advantage.
Shortly after the grand slam, the game was delayed for 41 minutes because of a thunderstorm.
After the delay, Hicks got the Cavaliers their final run with a home run to left field. The long ball was his fourth of the year.
The teams play game two of the series at 1 p.m. Saturday.