DURHAM, N.C. – The No. 25 Virginia baseball team dropped Game 1 of its series at Duke, 6-3, Friday evening at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. A four-run Duke fourth inning proved to be the difference.
Because of the threat for inclement weather Sunday, the final two games of the series will be played as a doubleheader beginning at noon Saturday.
Derek Fisher (Fr., Rexmont, Pa.) recorded three of Virginia’s eight hits. UVa starting pitcher Branden Kline (Jr., Frederick, Md.) took the loss for the Cavaliers and fell to 5-3 this year after allowing six runs (five earned), nine hits and four walks in 7.0 innings. He struck out five.
Duke starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (4-3) worked 7.0 strong innings, allowing three earned runs, seven hits and three walks while striking out nine. David Putman pitched two scoreless innings to nab his fifth save.
Virginia (24-14-1, 9-10 ACC) scored the game’s first run in the second inning while taking advantage of wildness from Stroman. Colin Harrington (Jr., Johnstown, Pa.) battled back from an 0-2 hole to draw a leadoff walked. He moved to second on a groundout and third when Stroman uncorked a wild pitch on ball four to Keith Werman (Sr., Vienna, Va.). Stroman fired another wild pitch which allowed Harrington to score.
Kline dominated through three innings but things unraveled in the fourth as Duke scored four times, with all the damage coming after two were out. Kline walked back-to-back batters with one out, but got Andrew Istler to fly out for the second out. Grant McCabe then hit a slow roller that shortstop Chris Taylor (Jr., Virginia Beach, Va.) charged in on, but the ball rolled under his glove and into left-center field to allow Mike Rosenfeld to score.
Duke (15-24, 7-12) took the lead when catcher Nate Irving’s throw to second on an attempted stolen base sailed into center field, allowing Mark Lumpa to score. An Angelo La Bruno single plated McCable to push the lead to 3-1. Ryan Munger then was hit by a pitch. Jeff Kremer then singled off the glove of Jared King (Sr., Radford, Va.) at first base. Werman tried to get Kremer at first, but the throw was errant, allowing La Bruna to score from third.
UVa quickly got a run back as Taylor doubled to right-center and scored when Lumpa booted a grounder by Branden Cogswell (Fr., Ballston Lake, N.Y.) to second base. The Blue Devils added a run in their half of the fifth. Will Piwnica-Worms doubled on the first pitch of the inning, advanced on a groundout and scored when Rosenfeld singled on an 0-2 pitch.
Virginia scored a run in the sixth. After Irving and Brandon Downes (Fr., South Plainfield, N.J.) hit back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, Taylor hit a sacrifice fly.
After Virginia was retired in order for the first time in the seventh inning, Duke got back-to-back doubles from Betts and Rosenfeld in its half of the seventh to bump its lead to three, 6-3.