BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Leading 3-2 heading into the top of the eighth, Duke scored six times in the inning and held on despite a five-run Campbell ninth to defeat the Camels 9-7 on Tuesday night at Taylor Field. The Blue Devils sent 11 batters to the plate during its six-run eighth inning.
Center fielder Will Piwnica-Worms and second baseman Mark Lumpa got the eighth going with back-to-back one-out singles. After both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, the Camels intentionally walked pinch hitter Jeff Kremer to load the bases. Right fielder Grant McCabe followed with an RBI-single to center. Third baseman Jordan Betts then drove in a run on a fielder’s choice. After Betts stole second, first baseman Andy Perez lined a two-run single to right to score Betts and pinch runner Marcus Stroman. Two batters later, left fielder Andrew Istler capped the frame with a two-run single through the left side to put the Blue Devils ahead 9-2.
Campbell (25-5) would make it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, scoring five times to cut the Duke lead to 9-7. Center fielder Ben McQuown had a two-run double and right fielder Jake Kirkland added a three-run homer for the Camels. Senior David Putman then came in and got third baseman David Olson to ground out to short before striking out pinch hitter Tyler Hutchinson to end the game. Putman picked up his team-leading fourth save of the season and sixth of his career.
Duke (13-17) grabbed a 3-0 lead in the top of the third. With two outs and runners on first and second, catcher Mike Rosenfeld sent an RBI-single back up the middle to score Perez. Piwnica-Worms then drove the first pitch he saw into the gap in left center for a two-run double, scoring Rosenfeld and shortstop Angelo La Bruna.
Olson had an RBI-double down the right field line in the fourth to cut the Duke lead to 3-1.
Kirkland drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth to make it a 3-2 ballgame. Sophomore Dillon Haviland then came on in relief of freshman starter Nick Piscotty and struck out Olson on three pitches to end the inning.
Piscotty held Campbell to two runs on six hits in 4.2 innings of work. Piscotty had four strikeouts on the night. Haviland (1-0) earned his first win of the year after tossing 3.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Perez paced the Blue Devils at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored. Istler went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI, while Piwnica-Worms was 2-for-5 with a two-run double and a run scored. Rosenfeld finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, McCabe was 2-for-3 with a run and Betts added a hit, an RBI and a run. Lumpa had a hit and a run, while La Bruna scored twice and designated hitter David Perkins had a hit.
Duke will host Clemson this weekend at Jack Coombs Field. Friday’s series-opener is set for 6 p.m., Saturday’s game will be at 2 p.m. and Sunday’s game is at 1 p.m. GoDuke.com will have exclusive live video coverage of the entire series.