PITTSBURGH – The Duke baseball team dropped a doubleheader Saturday afternoon at Pitt, falling 5-1 in game one before the Panthers rallied for an 8-5 victory in the second contest. Senior Matt Berezo had a phenomenal day at the plate, going 7-for-10 over the two games.
Duke (14-11, 4-5 ACC) scored a run in the top of the first, but Pitt (11-10, 3-5) answered with three runs in the bottom of the frame to take a lead it would not relinquish the rest of the way en route to a 5-1 win.
Pitt outhit the Blue Devils 13-6, led by shortstop Dylan Walsonovich and first baseman Eric Hess with three hits each. Starting his first career game at third base, Berezo paced the Duke offense with a 2-for-4 outing, his fourth multiple-hit game in as many contests. Senior Mike Rosenfeld turned in two hits as well, roping a double in the first and a single in the eighth.
Junior Andrew Istler (3-3) suffered the loss after allowing four runs on 10 hits over six complete innings. Classmate Sarkis Ohanian permitted a lone run on three hits in two innings of work to close out the game.
Pitt’s Joseph Harvey (1-1) earned the win, scattering five hits over 6.2 innings of work. Right hander Hobie Harris permitted one hit over 2.1 scoreless frames for his second save of the season.
Duke was able to score a run in the first after Aaron Cohn reached via error to begin the game. Rosenfeld belted a double to right center to establish runners at second and third before a balk called against Harvey plated the first run of the day.
Three runs on five singles in the bottom of the first erased Duke’s initial advantage. Wolsonovich flared a base hit to right with one out, the first of six straight Panthers to reach base. Shortstop Kenny Koplove made a great diving stop on a Boo Vazquez infield single to prevent a run, but Casey Roche sent a base hit through the right side to tie the game at 1-1. Following a Steven Shelinsky walk, Hess and Jordan Frabasilio both lined RBI base hits to put Pitt on top, 3-1.
Pitt tacked on a fourth run in the bottom of the fourth to extend its lead to three. Leadoff man Stephen Vranka doubled to kickstart the frame, moved to third on a Wolsonovich sacrifice bunt and scored on a Vazquez fly ball to right.
The three-run lead held until the eighth when the Panthers added an insurance run on a Walsonovich RBI single.
Berezo and classmate Mark Lumpa combined for nine hits in an 8-5 setback in the series finale. Duke registered 16 hits to the Panthers’ 11, but the Blue Devils stranded 16 runners and left the bases loaded on four occasions.
Berezo began the first with a one-out base hit to jump start Duke’s offense. Back-to-back walks to Rosenfeld and Marconcini loaded the bases for Ryan Deitrich, who drove a single through the left side for his 10th RBI of the season.
Following a Kenny Koplove single, Lumpa tagged Matt Wotherspoon’s 3-2 offering, sending it over the right field wall for his second career home run and first of the season.
Pitt got on the board in the third with two runs on three hits, including RBI singles by Wolsonovich and Vazquez. Duke was able to push a fourth run across in the fourth after Reed Anthes walked and ultimately scored on an error by shortstop Wolsonovich.
Up 4-1, Duke ran into trouble in the fifth as Pitt loaded the bases on a pair of singles and walk. RBI base hits from Stephen Vranka and Boo Vazquez tied the game at four-all. A Casey Roche fielder’s choice and Blue Devil throwing error kept the inning going before Eric Hess knocked in the final run of the frame with a single, giving the Panthers a 7-4 advantage.
After loading the bases on three-straight singles, Chris Marconcini was hit by a pitch to plate the Blue Devils’ fifth run. Again, Pitt responded tacking on a single run in the bottom of the sixth.
The flurry of scoring in the middle innings came to a standstill as neither team scored a run over the seventh, eighth and ninth. Pitt’s Luke Curtis pitched the final three frames to earn his first save of the season.
Working his way back from injury, Michael Matuella pitched two perfect innings to start the game, fanning five of the six batters he faced. Sophomore Nick Hendrix (1-1) suffered the loss, yielding three runs, just one earned, in the fifth.
Duke returns to action Tuesday, traveling to Davidson for a 6 p.m. contest against the Wildcats.