Duke center fielder Evan Dougherty came up with his second walk-off hit in two seasons on Saturday, ending a 10-inning affair with California by lacing a 2-2 offering from Bears freshman Tanner Dodson up the middle to cap off a two-out rally and even the season-opening series at one game apiece with a 6-5 win.
Dodson, pitching in his first collegiate game, had thrown 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, but after getting a ground out and a quick fly out in the bottom of the 10th, gave up a high chopper to short off the bat of Zack Kone, who beat a wide throw from Cal sophomore Preston GrandPre.
Left fielder Jimmy Herron then sent a first-pitch double to left field ot put two men in scoring position for Dougherty.
The No. 8 Bears (1-1) had jumped ahead in the top of the first on a two-out, two-run single by Nick Halamandaris, who rapped a first-pitch liner to center off of lefty starter Trent Swart, making his first appearance after missing all of last season with Tommy John surgery.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1643615-all-aboard-the-cra... With one out and one on in the bottom of the third, catcher Chris Proctor sent a 1-1 offering from senior Bears righty Ryan Mason off the Blue Monster in left, touching off a 10-batter inning for the Blue Devils, in which they touched Mason up for five runs on five hits, an error and two walks.
During that inning, Duke went 2-for-2 with two outs, and on the day, the Blue Devils were 7-for-15 in those situations, while the Bears were 2-for-13.
Mason had only thrown 18 pitches in the previous two innings, combined, but threw 35 in the third, including one that Kone grounded up the middle with the bases loaded for his first collegiate hit, giving Duke the 4-3 lead.
Kone was followed up with a Herron bouncer off the plate to short, which GrandPre fielded and then uncorked a wild throw to first, allowing the fifth run to score.
In the top of the fifth, though, Halamandaris struck again. After a leadoff walk to first baseman Brenden Farney, Halamandaris stroked the first pitch he saw from reliever James Ziemba just inside the right field line and into the corner, chugging his way to his first career triple by sliding around the tag at third, and making him 4-for-7 with four RBIs to start the season.
With the infield back, GrandPre fisted a grounder to short, allowing Halamandaris to trot home and tie the game.
Mason recovered from his disastrous third inning by retiring the next eight Blue Devils to face him. Mason pitched into the bottom of the seventh, but gave up a second-pitch double into the left field corner by Ryan Day to lead off the frame, and was replaced by Dodson.
The two-way freshman promptly got an out on a bunt, and after a walk, got a tailor-made double play ball to short to end the inning.
Mason finished the day with 6.0 innings pitched, nine hits, five runs (four earned) and two strikeouts. He took the no-decision.
After another leadoff man reached for the Bears in the top of the eighth via a Tenerowicz single (Cal went 7-of-10 leading off innings, including a would-be triple by Knapp that saw him tagged out at third in the first inning), the Bears went 1-2-3.
Dodson worked quickly in the bottom of the eighth, fanning Kone and getting Herron to ground to short, before Dougherty sent a single to center. Pinch hitter Cris Perez, though, was stymied thanks to a sliding, diving play by Tenerowicz on a grounder up the middle, where he dove to tag the bag and end the inning with the force.
The Bears had the chance to ice the win in the top of the ninth, when Mitchell Kranson sent a flare to right center for a single to lead things off.
Farney then laid down a picture-perfect bunt up the first base side, and benefitted from late coverage by second baseman Day for an infield single.
Catcher Brett Cumberland, though, was caught looking at a fastball on the outside corner for strike three, Halamandaris popped out to short and GrandPre also popped out in short order to end the threat.
The series will conclude with a rubber match on Sunday at 8 a.m., Pacific, at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, where Cal will send 2015 Freshman All-American Matt Ladrech to the mound against righty Brian McAfee. Last season, Ladrech went 7-4 with a 2.67 ERA, while McAfee, a transfer from Cornell, went 5-2 with a 1.77 ERA in 2015 for the Big Red.