DURHAM, N.C. – The Presbyterian College baseball team trailed Duke by a just a run after the fifth inning but the Blue Devils got 10 runs across the sixth and seventh innings to claim the 14-6 victory on Wednesday night at Jack Coombs Field in Durham, N.C. PC drops to 21-22 on the season, while Duke improve to 22-21.
How It Happened
PC got on the board in its first at-bat. Glen Casaceli lead off the game with a single to right but was caught stealing for the first out. Brett Auckland then gave the Blue Hose lead with a solo home run to right, his fourth of the season, to make it a 1-0 game.
Duke answered with a lone run in the first and second innings. In the first, Jimmy Herron drew a leadoff walk, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a balk to tie the game at one. In the second, Michael Smiciklas was hit by a pitch and went to third on a single by Max Miller, before scoring on a sac fly by Erikson Nichols to take a 2-1 lead.
The Blue Hose responded with two runs in the third. Nick Guimbarda singled to left center to start the inning and Andrew Bladt followed with walk to put two on, before a passed ball allowed both to move up ninety feet. An RBI single by Casaceli scored Guimbarda to tie it and two batters later Cletis Avery scored Bladt with an RBI groundout to put PC in front 3-2.
Duke countered with two runs in the fourth. Smiciklas led off the inning with a double and Kennie Taylor followed with a single to put runners at the corners with one out. After Taylor stole second, Miller walked to load the bases with no outs. After a pitching change and a strikeout, a passed ball brought home Smiciklas and an RBI groundout by Chris Dutra scored Taylor to make it a 4-3 Duke advantage.
The Blue Devils then busted the game open with four runs in the sixth. They loaded the bases with no outs before a popout to second accounted for the first out. Herron then doubled to left to score two and Zack Kone followed with a sac fly to score the third run of the inning. Two batters later, Jack Labosky doubled to left to plate one more to push the lead to 8-3.
PC wasn't done just yet, as the Blue Hose cut the lead back to two with a three-run seventh. Guimbarda and Bladt drew back-to-back walks with Casaceli reaching on a bunt single to load the bases with no outs. Auckland drove in Guimbarda with an RBI single and Avery followed with an RBI groundout to plate Bladt. Priaulx then brought in Casaceli with a sac fly to center to cut the lead to 8-6.
Duke then put the game out of reach with a sixth-run bottom half of the seventh. A leadoff single by Taylor was the only DU hit of the inning with five walks, two hit batters and two wild pitches leading to the big inning for the Blue Devils en route to the win.
Pitchers of Record
Matt Mervis (2-1) earned the win with a scoreless inning of work, as one of 10 pitchers to take the bump for the Blue Devils on the night. Mervis walked two and struck out two in the fourth inning.
Hunter Kyzar (0-5) suffered the loss, allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks in 3.0 innings of work with one strikeout.
Player of the Game
Brett Auckland was 3-for-3 with a home run, a run and two RBIs in the game. It was his ninth multi-hit game of the season and his fourth with at least three hits. The lefty is now tied for the team lead in homers on the year with four, while sitting second on the squad with 27 RBIs.
- Glen Casaceli continued his strong play, going 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI out of the leadoff spot. The senior takes over the team lead in batting average with a .317 mark on the year. It was his third three-hit game of the season.
PC returns to action this weekend with its final home conference series of the season, hosting Gardner-Webb for three games beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. at the PC Baseball Complex.