The Blue Devils scored three two-out runs in the second inning, then blew the game open with eight runs in the fourth inning, six of which came with two outs. The Tigers scored their lone run in the sixth inning, but it was not enough, as Duke ended its six-game losing streak at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Robert Huber (3-2), the first of three Duke hurlers, earned the win in 6.0 innings pitched. He gave up five hits, one run, and four walks with three strikeouts. Michael Matuella retired all six batters he faced, then Andrew Istler pitched a perfect ninth inning to close out the game.
Tiger starter Scott Firth (2-4) suffered the loss, as he yielded eight hits, six runs, and two walks with three strikeouts in 3.1 innings pitched.
The Blue Devils grabbed the game's first lead in the second inning. Matt Berezo hit a one-out single up the middle and Mark Lumpa singled through the left side. Two batters later, Kenny Koplove laced a two-out single through the left side. Leftfielder Tyler Slaton's throw to home would have been received in plenty of time at the plate for the inning-ending out, but his throw sailed over catcher Garrett Boulware to allow Berezo to score. Andy Perez then lined a triple down the right-field line to score Lumpa and Koplove.
In the bottom of the second inning, each of the first four Tigers who stepped to the plate reached base, two on singles and two on walks, but the Tigers failed to dent the scoreboard. Shane Kennedy was caught stealing at second base and Jon McGibbon was thrown out at home by rightfielder Jeff Kremer after Jay Baum's single.
The Blue Devils tacked on eight runs on six hits in the fourth inning. Reed Anthes led off with a bloop single to center on an 0-2 pitch and advanced to second on Koplove's sacrifice bunt. Perez followed with a double to left-center to score Anthes. Kremer lined a 1-2 pitch down the left-field line for a single to score Perez. Two batters later with two outs, Chris Marconcini walked, then Jordan Betts grounded a double over the third-base bag to score Kremer and Marconcini. Berezo followed with a single to left-center to score Betts. Lumpa and Anthes walked to load the bases, then Koplove was hit-by-pitch to score Berezo. Perez followed with an infield single to score Lumpa and Anthes.
In the top of the sixth inning, Koplove grounded a one-out single up the middle and Anthony D'Alessandro walked. D'Alessandro was retired at second on Kremer's fielder's choice, then Koplove scored on an error on the play.
Pinch-hitter Joe Costigan led off the bottom of the sixth inning with a flyball that fell for a double in shallow right-center. McGibbon's flyout to right-center moved Costigan to third, then Thomas Brittle hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Costigan.
In the eighth inning, Anthes led off with a walk and pinch-hitter Angelo La Bruna hit a double to right-center to advance Anthes to third. Anthes then scored on a wild pitch.
Perez led Duke's 15-hit attack by going 3-for-4 with a double, triple, one run, five RBIs, and one steal. Grant McCabe went 3-for-6, while Berezo and Koplove added two hits apiece. Anthes scored a game-high three runs as well.
McGibbon had a team-high two hits for Clemson, who totaled five hits in the contest.
Clemson will face Georgia in a two-game, midweek, home-and-home series starting Tuesday at 7:00 PM in Athens, GA. The game will be televised by CSS.
Clemson falls to Duke in finale
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