CLINTON, S.C. The Presbyterian College baseball team put a tremendous scare into the Duke Blue Devils Wednesday afternoon, losing to the Atlantic Coast Conference foe by scores of 3-2 and 5-3 at the PC Baseball Complex.

The Blue Hose now stand at 10-37 on the season while the Blue Devils improve to 31-18.


With one out in the third frame, Andrew Williams laced a single to left. Two batters later, Cory Lyda’s long, high triple that reached the warning track plated Williams for a 1-0 lead. Jared Combs then used his blazing speed to beat out a slow roller, driving home Lyda for a 2-0 advantage.


Duke sliced the deficit to one by scoring a run in the fourth. Will PiwnicaWorms tripled down the right field line and scored on a wild pitch.


The Blue Devils took the lead in the sixth with two runs after loading the bases as the first three batters of the inning got on. Jesse Harmon did an excellent job, pitching his way out of the jam while giving up just the two runs.


Combs reached base in the sixth off an error when the pitcher missed touching the bag on what would have been a routine groundout. PC would not have another runner until the eighth. With one away, Williams doubled down the right field line. He moved to third on Mack Hite’s sacrifice bunt, but could not score as Lyda drove a pitch deep to left field, but it fell into the left fielder’s glove for the final out of the inning.


In the ninth, Combs lofted a short fly ball that nearly dropped for a hit, but was snagged just prior to it touching the ground. Kenny Bryant singled up the middle and moved to second on Tony Micklon’s single through the left side to put two on with just one away. However, Nate Horton and Zac Rhinesmith both flew out to end the contest.


Williams and Micklon each tallied two hits. Williams and Lyda each scored a run while Lyda and Combs both drove in one.

For the game, PC notched two runs on seven hits with one error while Duke tallied three runs on six hits with one miscue.


Harmon took the loss, falling to 3-5 on the year. He went 7.1 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. He walked five but struck out seven. Jordan Pace recorded an out against the one batter he faced while Andrew Foushee tossed 1.1 innings, giving up just one hit. 


In game two, PC had a beautiful opportunity to plate at least one run. In the second inning, Horton smacked a two-out single to left. Rhinesmith and Gabe Grammer each walked to load the bases. However, Williams struck out looking to leave all three stranded.


Thanks to an error that kept the fifth inning alive for Duke, the visitors plated two runs, including a steal of home on a double theft attempt.


However, PC battled back in the bottom half of the stanza. With Hite one first, Lyda singled to right. He moved to second on Combs’ sacrifice hit while Hite went to third. Bryant then lofted a fly ball to right that was deep enough to allow Hite to cross home.


The score remained the same until the seventh. Duke scored three runs in the inning, two of which came on singles while another came via a two-base hit.


The Blue Hose would not give up, scoring two of their own in the last half of the seventh. With one down, Hite singled to right center before moving to third on two wild pitches. Lyda then reached on a fielding error that allowed Hite to score.

Combs came through with a single through the left side, advancing Lyda to second. Bryant singled to right field, plating Lyda to make the score 5-3.


After PC kept Duke off the scoreboard for its final two turns at bat, head coach Elton Pollock’s team put themselves in position to knock off their first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference team.


Combs singled up the middle on a 2-1 pitch to get things going. With one down, Harmon came in to pinch hit for Micklon. He worked the count to 2-2 before striking out swinging.


Down to its last out, PC put a huge scare into Duke. Horton was hit by a pitch on a 1-2 count, putting runners on first and second. Jeffrey Tatum pinch ran for Horton. He and Combs promptly moved into scoring position on a wild pitch.


Rhinesmith came to the plate as the winning run while the tying run stood just 180 feet away. On a 1-1 count, Rhinesmith laced the offering toward the left side of the infield. However, the shortstop was there to snag the ball, ending the contest.


Mitchell Odom worked six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits. Only two of the runs were earned. He walked one while striking out three. Foushee went three innings, giving up one run on four hits while whiffing three.


Hite posted a team-high three hits in four at bats. Combs notched two hits for PC.


For the game, the Blue Devils totaled five runs on 11 hits with one error. Pollock’s team tallied three runs on nine hits with one miscue.  


The Blue Hose return to action next Tuesday in the home finale. PC hosts The Citadel at 3 p.m.